The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCT- CA) has again assured tourism entrepreneurs that their issues will be addressed through the upcoming relief package.

Speaking during an interaction programme with tourism stakeholders organised by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on Monday, Tourism Minister Bhanubhakta Dhakal said that the ministry is serious about the issues of tourism sector and working promptly to address them.

He also expressed hope that the relief programmes will be announced through the forthcoming budget. He further claimed that emphasis would be laid on policy reforms and budget management to support the sector.

"We are holding discussions with the prime minister as well to manage the funds for the revival of tourism sector despite many limitations in the budget formulation for the coming fiscal year," he said, "The ministry is taking the initiative to revive the tourism sector, which was badly affected by COVID-19 pandemic."

He further said that as the threat of second wave of COV- ID infection is looming, there is a need to proceed with caution and pay attention to health safety protocols.

Similarly, Rameshwor Phuyal, a member of National Planning Commission, said that the plan to develop tourism sector as the backbone of the national economy has become complicated due to the lack of budget. He urged the private sector to focus on human resource development along with infrastructure development.

"It is necessary for the government and private sector to take the industry forward," said Tourism Secretary Yadav Prasad Koirala. He said that the ministry would make all possible efforts for the revival and promotion of tourism in the forthcoming budget.

Amid this, Chief Executive Officer of NTB Dhananjay Regmi emphasised on the inter-institutional coordination and budget for recovery of tourism sector.

"To develop the country as a tourist destination for all age groups and all seasons, we need tourism-friendly policies along with identification of new destinations," he said.

President of Hotel Association Nepal Shreejana Rana, General Secretary of Nepal Mountaineering Association Kul Bahadur Gurung, former president of PATA Nepal Chapter Suman Pandey, former NTB executive member Rajendra Sapkota, President of Federation of Tourist Transport Entrepreneurs Ram Hari Sharma, General Secretary of Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal Sarita Lama, among others were presented during the interaction.

During the interaction, entrepreneurs demanded that the government make provision in the new budget to provide relief to the industry.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 14, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.