Travel firm boss for sustainable tourism practices

KATHMANDU: Nepal is set to witness a five-fold growth in adventure tourism over the next three years, according to UK-based Peter Burrell, managing director of Exodus Travel. He told delegates attending the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference here that more consumers are choosing adventure, ethical and environmental holidays. However, this increased demand will place additional pressure on destinations to adopt sustainable tourism practices.

“Consumers want to see that tourism is a force for good and they want proof that the benefits are reaching local communities. If we don’t embrace these practices, we will all suffer,” he said. US-based Kathleen Dragon, representing Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), told the conference that this specialist sector was doing better than most in weathering the economic recession. A recent ATTA survey of more than 250 international tour operators (representing over two million customers) indicated that inventories will increase this year on the back of above-average financial performances in 2009. “These companies will help to define the future and substance of travel,” she said. “It’s a driver of economic development where it’s often needed most.”

The Mart opened on the grounds of Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza. Attending the Kathmandu event are 170 delegates from 25 nations.