Kathmandu, June 30
Various associations related to Nepal’s tourism industry have requested the government to focus on purchasing wide-body aircraft for the national flag carrier, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), instead of narrow-body ones because the latter would not help increase in the number of tourists.
A joint meeting of the top-level officials of the Nepal Association of Tour & Travel Agents (NATTA), Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO), Hotel Association Nepal (HAN), PATA-Nepal Chapter, Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Association of Rafting Agents (NARA) held in the Capital on Friday reviewed the different problems facing the country’s tourism industry.
The meeting also decided to thank the government for recognising tourism as its priority sector and urged it to immediately move the implementation process ahead.
The meeting was chaired by President of NATTA Pavitra Kumar Karki.
Mentioning that the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has failed to contribute to the country’s tourism promotion as expected due to its politicisation, the associations have decided to alert the government against such an anomaly. They realised the need for restructuring the national tourism organisation and its bureaucracy. The public-private partnership body formed to look after the tourism industry has been running without leadership for the past several months.
The meeting also decided to warn that the associations would launch a disobedience movement against the government if the latter did not pay due attention towards developing the NTB into a more effective and efficient professional institution.
Similarly, the meeting welcomed the decision taken by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to start limonene services at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). However, tourism entrepreneurs are not fully confident about the project’s implementation procedures.
"The vehicles to be in operation at the airport must not be less than 1,500 C.C. The meeting has unanimously decided to draw the government’s attention in this regard," a press statement issued by NATTA after the joint meeting read.
Highlighting the loses facing the local tour operators owning to an unexpected rise in the entrance fees of the natural world heritage sites like national parks, wildlife reserves, the meeting has decided to urge the government to review such a decision.
The associations said that the government should have hiked such fees only after holding consultations with the tour operators.
Talking about the under-utilisation of the unlimited water resources available in the country, the associations called the government to introduce a concrete policy on the utilisation of the rivers.
They have also requested the government to leave the Bhotekoshi river in Sindhupalchowk district undisturbed for rafting.