NTY 2011 showcased nicely at Berlins ITB

KATHMANDU: With the objective of promoting “Nepal Tourism Year 2011” to international travel trade agencies and media, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) along with 19 leading travel trade companies from Nepal, successfully participated in the world’s largest gathering of travel trade professionals — the 44th ITB Fair in Berlin, Germany, from March 10 to 14. The participation of approximately 12,000 exhibiting companies from 187 countries in the fair revealed the stupendous response to the upcoming holiday season of European travellers.

The Nepal pavilion was very noticeable due to its unique and traditional pagoda style design and the display of cultural artefacts like various woodcarvings, Mane, Thangka along with Nepal flags with the logo of NTY 2011. The international trade visitors this year accounted for around 45 per cent of the total attendance at ITB Berlin and the exhibiting Nepali companies had good business interaction with them during the first three days. Germany remains the most important source market of Europe basically for adventure tourism. A large number of consumers enquired about the soft as well as hard adventure activities in Nepal. This year’s participation revealed encouraging signs for the Nepali travel industry as most of the queries were about about the scope of accessibility, destination updates and new offers. Many consumers were keen to know more about Nepal Tourism Year 2011 programmes and special offers during the year.

Capitalising on the presence of international trade visitors, NTB organised a “Naturally Nepal Evening” to showcase NTY-2011 on March 11. An enthusiastic crowd of media and travel trade guests enjoyed the traditional folk dances of Nepal and typical Nepali cuisine. Nepal’s ambassador to Germany, Suresh Pradhan highlighted the excellent bilateral relations between Nepal and Germany and stressed the importance of outbound potential of the German market. He also requested the German media, travel trade and friends of Nepal to publicize NTY 2011. He invited international airlines to operate direct flights between Nepal and Germany and reap the mutual benefits from the liberal open sky policy of Nepal.

Nandini Lahe-Thapa, director of tourism marketing and promotion highlighted the concept and goals of NTY 2011 and stressed on the need for all stakeholders to work in collaboration “Together for Tourism” for achieving the target of one million tourist arrivals for 2011. The ITB 2010 was the perfect platform to promote NTY 2011 in the background of growing confidence and apparent interest in Nepal as a unique holiday destination again.