KATHMANDU: Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) — the tourism promotion body set up in a public-private partnership model — has appointed about two dozen goodwill ambassadors to restore Nepal’s tourism sector to its pre-earthquake glory.
The goodwill ambassadors appointed today are renowned people in the tourism fraternity.
The tourism industry has been passing through a turbulent time after the powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck the central and western parts of the country on April 25.
“We need to disseminate information that only 15 per cent of our tourist destinations and 20 per cent of our heritage sites were affected by the quake, while the rest are intact,” said Tourism Minister Kripasur Sherpa in a programme organised by NTB to appoint the goodwill ambassadors. “I hope our goodwill ambassadors will be able to propagate the message that Nepal is safe to visit.”
He also informed that the government, through various diplomatic channels, is lobbying with some European countries to revise the travel advisory notices issued for their citizens that mentioned Nepal is an unsafe destination.
NTB has appointed 17 public relation representatives and honorary tourism goodwill ambassadors and five honorary mountain tourism goodwill ambassadors.
Junko Tabei (Japan), Peter Hillary (New Zealand), Peter Athens (USA), Reinhold Messner (Italy), Tashi Tenzing (Australia), Um Hong-gil (South Korea), Edurne Pasaban (Spain), Jean Michel Asselin (France), Wolfgang Nairz (Austria), Ralf Dujmovits (Germany), Nicole Nikki (Switzerland), Katja Staartjes (The Netherlands), Doc McKarr (UK), David Breashears (USA), Silvio Mondinelli (Italy), Wang Jing (China) and Jamling Tenzing Norgay (Nepal) have been appointed as tourism goodwill ambassadors.
Tabei is the first lady who ascended Mt Everest. Likewise, Hillary and Norgay are the sons of the first climbers of Mt Everest — Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Wang Jing from China was the first person to summit Mt Everest after the avalanche calamity in August last year. And others are also familiar with Nepal and have been appointed as goodwill ambassadors in view of their cooperation in promoting tourism.
Likewise, Mingma Sherpa, Lhakpa Rita Sherpa, Susmita Maskey, Lhakpa Sherpa and Sailee Basnet have been appointed as mountain tourism goodwill ambassadors. Basnet, Maskey and Lhakpa Rita Sherpa have climbed the highest peaks of all seven continents.
Mingma Sherpa has climbed Mt Everest eight times and also ascended 14 8,000-metre peaks. Lhakpa Sherpa has climbed Mt Everest six times.
A version of this article appears in print on June 27, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.