Kathmandu, August 26:

Negative media coverage of Nepal’s tourism industry has greatly affected its market in the international sector, tourism pundits said. Therefore the need of the hour is to project Nepal’s image positively, thereby portraying the reality and effectively communicating with the international media, potential tourists and concerned tourism bodies, they said. The country has been a victim of negative publicity by the media which has “harmed” the tourism industry, said Foreign Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey. “In an inter-connected and inter-linked world, attacks can happen anywhere with far reaching consequences but we should not let people deter from travelling,” he said while inaugurating the Travel media workshop for South Asia sub-regional travel writers, jointly organised by the Nepal Tourism Board and Asian Development Bank in association with the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) here today.

Journalists from India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal are participating in a two-day workshop.

Highlighting the media’s role in tourism promotion, he said developing countries like Nepal lacks infrastructures for dissemination of information. “Collective projection of the tourism potentials through an integrated promotional package will greatly enhance the prospect for a meaningful regional cooperation,” he said. He further claimed that security in Nepal is witnessing a “gradual improvement” in the last seven months in the absence of bandhs and attacks on tourists which has increased tourist arrivals. Rok V Klancnik, press and communications director at WTO, while presenting a paper at the workshop, said, countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and India should learn to handle crisis in times of emergencies and natural calamities. “Governments should be ready to handle such situations by disseminating truthful information to the world,” he said.