Notwithstanding calls from the government to withdraw their protests, the Joint Tourism Coordination Committee (JTCC) shut down Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card sales counter on Sunday.
About 100 representatives of the JTCC, an independent forum of 20 travel trade associations, entered the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) premises and padlocked the counter at around 7 am.
NTB officials were not available to comment on the padlocking of TIMS counter as the board established to promote tourism in the country also remains inoperational due to crisis in its leadership.
However, to ensure that foreign tourists are not affected by the closure of counter at NTB, JTCC has asked FITs to take TIMS cards from TIMS Counter at TAAN Secretariat in Maligaun of the capital.
The padlocking of TIMS counter at NTB is a part of weeklong protest announced by JTCC and comes even as Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Bhim Acharya urged the agitating tourism entrepreneurs on Saturday to call off their protest.
Saying that the government even postponed the 6th National Tourism Fair as per the demand of the JTCC, Minister Acharya said the tourism entrepreneurs should be also flexible and come to the negotiating table.
JTCC has been leading series of protest by putting forth four-point demand before the government, which includes removal of Subash Niroula from the post of acting CEO of NTB to pave the way for early appointment of new CEO, independent audit of expenses made by NTB over the past five years, and institutional representation of private sector in the board of NTB.
Date: 11 May, 2014