Tourism Promotion Committee forms executive body for recovery efforts

KATHMANDU: The National Tourism Promotion Committee has constituted an executive committee to carry out its works in a smooth and effective way.

Noted tourism entrepreneur Yogendra Shakya has been chosen as the coordinator of the executive committee while Lakpa Sonam Sherpa as joint-coordinator.

The Committee's first meeting took decision to this effect on Sunday.

As per the decision of the Council of Ministers on June 16, the NTPC was formed under the chairmanship of Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Kripasur Sherpa to carry out efforts for the rebuilding and promotion of the tourism sector in the aftermath of April 25 earthquake and its suspects.

Besides, the meeting agreed to take ownership of the Pokhara Declaration-2072 BS, issued by the Parliament Development Committee, and a report published by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) for revitalising country's tourism and make initiatives for their enforcement soon.

The NTPC is to install weather forecast equipment in the base camps of major peaks of the country for the conveniences of tourists.

The meeting agreed to request international community to give priority to Nepal while choosing venues for international-level events like meetings, assemblies, conferences, exhibitions and fairs as this helps rebuild the country's tourism sector affected by the devastating earthquake.

As per the decision, the government will be requested to exempt the provision of value added tax (VAT) on air fuel to relatively decrease aviation fee, which is expected to encourage tourists to visit Nepal.

Also, the NTPC has recommended the government to free tourism industries from the imposition of income tax for at least a year, to provide concessions on the interest of bank loans taken by the earthquake-hit tourism industries with extended deadline for loan recovery by a year.