Stakeholders demand serious tourism recovery plan
In the aftermath of the disaster the tourism industry has been dealt a severe blow but is stumbling back to its feet. To revive the tourism industry, tourism entrepreneurs and stakeholders are conducting a series of programmes and familiarisation trips to Nepal to promote the country's tourism and to spread the message of Nepal being safe for travel.
To achieve this goal, major stakeholders of the industry; Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Nepal Association of Tour
Operators (NATO), Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) and the government are joining hands.
Can NTB deliver?
But perhaps that is easier said than done. While the tourism industry is making every effort to bridge the gaps and bring back tourists, NTB whose job is destination promotion is in itself in a sorry state and marred in controversies. With no leadership at NTB and the government yet to appoint people to senior positions, doubts exist about the promotional efforts. According to Limbu, they are lobbying with NTB for transparency in budget allocations and circulation of correct information. “There are no senior level executive board members after suspension on corruption charges by Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) in April to address these issues,” Limbu says. He further adds that the
election of the CEO of NTB has also been put on hold delaying the recovery process for the tourism sector.
Hotelier and former co-ordinator of Nepal Tousism year 2011, Yogendra Shakya, says that NTB has the sole responsibility of promoting tourism and appointment of CEO at NTB is the need of the hour. The government and the tourism stakeholders have formed a tourism promotion committee, that will be active and implementing promotional activities for revival of tourism post disaster. “Complete executive body and the CEO appointment is compulsory for tourism promotion,” says Shakya. Citing that NTB should be an autonomous body for proper functioning, he says, “There should not be any interference from the government bodies and political parties while making decisions
on promotion and development activities.”