KATHMANDU, Aug 24: Joint Tourism Coordination Committee (JTCC), a group of travel trade associations, on Sunday organized a program to welcome newly appointed tourism secretary Suresh Man Shrestha.
Speaking at the program, tourism entrepreneurs requested the new secretary to strengthen Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) saying that irregularities there have hindered growth of the tourism industry. Ramesh Prasad Dhamala, coordinator of JTCC, said the new secretary should do the needful for strengthening NTB so that Nepali tourism products and services can be promoted effectively in international market. “We are ready to partner with the government for the development of tourism industry and help the government to make amendment to policies as per the need,” added Dhamala.
Saying that tourist arrival is falling in 2014 because of the impasse in NTB, tourism entrepreneurs urged the government to make NTB functional at the earliest. “The government must think of improving tourist arrivals. For this, it should soon control irregularities at NTB and strengthen transport system, mainly the national flag carrier,” BK Shrestha, president of Hotel association of Nepal (HAN), said.
Responding to the tourism entrepreneurs, Secretary Shrestha said he would help the private sector to promote Nepal in the international arena. “We need to promote our alternative tourist destinations. Our destinations are unique as we are rich in natural resources and biodiversity,” he said. Shrestha also said NTB should be saved from political interference. “It is a matter of great shame that NTB is involved in financial irregularities,” Shrestha said, adding, “We will wait for the report of the probe team and take appropriate decision accordingly.”
He also called upon tourism entrepreneurs to promote domestic tourism.