A walk for tourism

“People coming out and dancing at an event is also tourism. An event is counted as tourism. But we have a conventional concept that tourism means foreigners travelling,” said Subash Nirola, Acting CEO of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). But he sees a challenge — “to bring people out of their houses”.

Confronting the challenge, Nirola along with Radisson Hotel Kathmandu and its clients, in-house guests and corporate clients came together for Rad-a-thon 2014 on February 15.

It was organised by Radisson Hotel Kathmandu in association with NTB as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). With the slogan ‘Tourism for peace, people and prosperity’, they promoted tourism with a walkathon.

Rad-a-thon 2014 was inaugurated by Bikesh Shrestha, Managing Director of Radisson Hotel Kathmandu. Releasing of colorful balloons and pigeons in the air, lakhey dance and Nepali Police Band playing the National Anthem gave a lively start to the event. There was also the traditional tune from panche baja. Sport legend marathon runner Baikuntha Manandhar shared some walkathon rules and regulations to the participants.

At around 8:30 am, the walkathon started — nearly 450 participants wearing white tee-shirts walked, some ran, from the hotel via North Gate of Narayanhiti Palace Museum, Durbar Marg, Ratna Park, Sahid Gate, New Road, Rastriya Nach Ghar, Keshar Mahal and back to the hotel.

The walkathon proceeded to “show solidarity for the promotion of Tourism in Nepal carrying the Tourism vision 2020”. Moreover, Shrestha remarked Rad-a-thon as “marketing”. He expressed that “tourism — be it international or domestic — is necessary for the development of the country. When we walk around the city, many people will see us and will be aware of it”.

Travelling seven kilometres, the walkathon ended at 10:00 am followed by a cultural programme.

The winners of the walkathon were awarded as well. Aita Ram Tamang became the winner among the male contestants, and Leenisha Nakarmi became the winner among the females.

Being in the hospitality business, tourism was the focus of the event however Karuna Manandhar, Assistant Manager Public Relations and Publicity of the hotel shared, “We are also telling people how to become healthy so that more people walk making Kathmandu a pollution-free city.”

source: Himalayan Times, 15 Feb 2014

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