KATHMANDU, July 16
Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) Nepal Chapter on Wednesday announced two major international conferences, namely Himalayan Travel Mart 2016 and Bloggers Conference 2015, to be held in Kathmandu in a bid to revive the tourism industry through marketing and promotional activities.
The long-planned travel mart had been in limbo as the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) was engulfed in an extended controversy. The first Himalayan International Travel Mart was organized by the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) in 2005, attracting the participation of more than 200 tour operators from South and Southeast Asian countries.
The second executive committee meeting of Pata Nepal decided to organize the Himalayan Travel Mart, a business-to-business event where buyers with an interest in Nepal and the Himalayan region come from all over the world. Sellers will comprise agents selling the Himalaya Saarc region and similar destinations anywhere in the world.
Suman Pandey, president of Pata Nepal, said that the mega tourism event that targets to bring in foreign buyers and a number of tourism professionals from various tourist generating countries will be held on May 29, 2016 to mark International Everest Day.
May 29 is the day when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa reached the 8,848-metre summit of Everest in 1953, becoming the first persons to stand atop the world’s highest mountain.
The event will be held with the coordination of the Tourism Ministry, NTB, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and the private sector.
The April 25 earthquake has hit the tourism industry hard. It is one of Nepal’s major foreign exchange earners, and the country is expected to lose at least 40 percent of the potential arrivals as a result of the disaster.
Luring tourists back may be an uphill battle. Despite the overall estimated damage and losses, the tourism industry remains resilient and optimistic about executing a turnaround in the medium to the long term with concerted efforts from all the stakeholders and support from the government, Pata Nepal said.
“Although, there is plenty of time to host the conference, we decided to take it as a campaign from now to grab visitors’ attention that Nepal is ready to welcome tourists anytime,” Pandey said.
Meanwhile, Pata has also decided to hold a first ever Bloggers Conference by the end of September this year. The move aims to bring at least 50 top bloggers from around the world to Nepal and give them a first hand instant update on the country’s various locations and experiences. The objective of the campaign is to promote the tourism recovery campaign in Nepal through the digital media platform.
Pata will also organize a familiarization trip for tour operators from various source markets this year. The tour operators are among the agents who send a large number of tourists to Nepal.
On the human capital development front, Pata has finalized conducting workshops with Prof Kaye Chon, Dean, Hotel and Tourism Management of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Damian Cook, CEO of E-Tourism Frontiers.
Pata Nepal’s executive committee include representatives from the Tourism Ministry, NTB and NAC.