Need to focus on product development: NTB chief

Kathmandu, February 9

Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Dhananjay Regmi has stressed on research in product development for betterment of the country’s tourism sector.

Although the country has natural resources they are not being properly utilised as tourist products, Regmi said during an interaction session held today at NTB with tourism entrepreneurs.

“Our country is blessed with natural resources, however the tourism industry is yet to identify and sell those products in both the domestic and international market,” he said. Regmi further said that there is a need for research in product development for the tourism sector so that stakeholders can identify and sell the product as per the need of the tourists.

Regmi stated that proper research planning for product development will be practised in the coming days. “We need to introduce new products with more activities so that we can engage a large number of tourists,” he said. “From mountaineering sector to trekking, adventure, religion, culture and other areas, NTB will now work on developing tourist products to enhance the industry.”

New products will attract more investors, visitors and will also generate jobs in the country, he added.

Along with that, Regmi also unveiled nine major areas he will focus on during his four-year tenure. Improvement of organisational structure of NTB, financial reform and plans for human resources development will be the focus areas of Regmi. Likewise, other areas that he will emphasise on will be research and education, product development, infrastructure development, marketing and publicity, plan for conservation and plan for crisis management.

Meanwhile, in response to Regmi’s four-year plan tourism entrepreneurs have suggested that he focus more on marketing and promotional activities during his tenure than on product development.

“NTB was basically established for marketing and promotional activities and promotion is what the tourism industry seeks from NTB at present. So, it would be better for NTB to focus on marketing at the moment,” opined tourism entrepreneur Basanta Mishra.

Speaking at the interaction, Achyut Sharma Guragain, president of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents, suggested Regmi to introduce new strategies of marketing to replace the declining number of Chinese tourists due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“As number of Chinese tourists is likely to drop significantly it would be better to focus on other markets for promotion, especially for Visit Nepal 2020 campaign,”

Guragain said. “We could spend the promotional budget that was allocated for China in other potential countries.”

Amidst this, stakeholders also apprised Regmi about the current situation of the tourism sector in the country.