Truce gave tourism sector a boost: Experts

Kathmandu, November 24:

Tourism entrepreneurs have said that the Maoist-called unilateral ceasefire has given the tourism industry a new lease of life. They welcomed the recent agreement between the Maoists and the agitating political parties. Noting that a surge had been observed in tourist arrivals following the ceasefire announcement, they called on the Maoists to continue their ceasefire and help boost tourism in the country to give new life to the country’s failing economic condition. “We welcome the agreement between the Maoists and political parties as long as long it is implemented in good spirit,” said Deepak Mahat, a former president of the Trekking Agents Association of Nepal.

“The travel industry is being able to do its job now following the declaration of the truce,” he said at a programme on ‘Current Situation and Tourism Challenges’ organised here today.

Jyoti Lal Khanna, managing director, Yeti Travels, said the tourism industry which had been hard-hit for the last six years, had shown signs of recovery following the announcement of the ceasefire. “We hope that the country will be out of internal problems soon,” he said.

He emphasised the need to attract tourists and get them to spend more and stay longer in the country. Stating that the Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation “was going nowhere”, he suggested either it be strengthened or closed.

Airports and infrastructure of the country should also be upgraded, he said. Tek Bahadur Dangi, chief executive officer, Nepal Tourism Board, said the country has adequate infrastructure to cater to the tourists. “We haven’t been able to get tourists to spend more in the country due to the lack of coordination,” he said.