Rs 600m promo campaign planned

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 25, 2015-

The National Tourism Promotion Committee (NTPC) has asked the Finance Ministry for Rs600 million in emergency funds to carry out tourism promotional activities, promote trekking routes and conserve cultural heritage sites in a bid to revive the tourism sector which was knocked out by the April 25 earthquake.

Last July, the government had formed a 36-member high-level national committee led by Tourism Minister Kripasur Sherpa to bring Nepal’s tourism industry, which had been badly hit by the deadly tremors, back on track.

Tourism Ministry Spokesperson Mohan Krishna Sapkota said that they had sent the request for money to the Finance Ministry on Friday. “The budget is aimed at launching an aggressive promotional campaign in the major source markets, particularly India and China,” he said.

As per the plan, Rs334 million has been set aside for Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketing, or promotional campaigns through the media and other means of electronic business activities that will have a direct consumer outreach. The NTPC has focused its marketing strategies on India, China, US, UK, Japan, Germany and the French-, Italian- and Spanish-speaking markets. It has planned to spend Rs80 million each in India and China and Rs20 million each in the US, UK and Japan markets.

Likewise, it has proposed to spend Rs10 million in Germany and the French-, Italian- and Spanish-speaking markets. The NTPC has accorded priority to meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) tourism. MICE refers to a specialized niche of group tourism. According to the NTPC Secretariat, Rs20 million has been proposed to be spent on supporting MICE tourism in Nepal.

Meanwhile, Rs20 million has been earmarked for trekking trail promotion. The NTPC has proposed to spend Rs10 million each on the conservation of cultural heritage and promotion of domestic tourism. Tourism crisis response and tourism destination development are other areas that the NTPC has focused on. For this, it has proposed a budget of Rs10 million each. The Tourism Ministry has estimated that Nepal could lose 320,000 arrivals, or 40 percent of the total arrivals, due to the earthquake. There was a mass departure of foreign visitors and a flurry of cancellations after the disaster. The country received around 800,000 tourists last year.

The tourism sector suffered the biggest business losses, close to around Rs62.37 billion, while the total losses stood at Rs81 billion, according to the Post-Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA) report. Tourism businesses were hit hard as hotels and restaurants were closed after the quake and much of the infrastructure was damaged.

According to the PDNA, tourism infrastructure suffered damage valued at Rs18.86 billion in the earthquake.

In order to build confidence among visitors, campaigns like Visit Nepal Autumn, Help Nepal Tourism and Nepal is Safe have also been launched on social media platforms. The government has even conducted a safety assessment report of two popular trekking routes—Annapurna and Everest—to assure trekkers that Nepal’s trekking paradise is safe. Meanwhile, signs of a tourism rebound have emerged in the international flight booking trend for October. Foreign airlines serving Nepal are witnessing a surge in inbound bookings with the tourist and festival seasons nearing. According to travel agencies, almost every flight into Kathmandu from the third week of Sept to the end of Oct is 80 percent booked.

Most of the foreign carriers that were forced to cut their flight frequencies by more than half immediately after the April 25 earthquake have started returning to their normal frequency from Sept.

Countries          Budget

India        Rs80 million

China        Rs80 million

US        Rs20 million

UK        Rs20 million

Japan        Rs20 million

Germany     Rs10 million

France        Rs10 million

Italy & Spain Rs10 million

Published: 25-08-2015 10:29

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