Country-specific tourism marketing plan prepared

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 18, 2017-

The Tourism Ministry said Friday that the government had prepared country-specific tourism marketing strategies considering the vital importance of promotion in boosting arrivals. 

Nepal will be marketed as a destination for Hindu pilgrims in India while it will be publicized as a Buddhist tourism hub in Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, South Korea and other countries. 

Likewise, the government plans to promote Nepal as an adventure tourism destination in source markets where it can produce maximum impact. The strategy that will be executed by the Nepal Tourism Board is in the final stage of approval. The plan was revealed by Tourism Secretary Maheshwor Neupane during an interaction entitled ‘Nepal-Tourism Opportunities and Challenges’ organised by Qatar Airways. 

“Obviously, we lack marketing. We have varieties of products to offer, but we have not been able to benefit from them,” he said. “In many countries, potential tourists still ask how they can go to Nepal,” he said. This is really a big question that we need to answer in the digital era, he added. 

Apart from marketing, Nepal needs to address infrastructure bottlenecks. The poor condition of the country’s sole international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, has become a key concern, he said. “We are developing three international airports, but it will take some time for them to be ready. Hence, it will be a big challenge for us to manage traffic growth at TIA.”

TIA faces problems about parking bays, and this basic issue needs to be addressed, said Qatar Airways Country Manager Jay Prakash Nair. “We have had to divert our planes most of the time due to parking bay and traffic congestion. The airlines are forced to pay extra costs while passengers are also compelled to face difficulties,” he said. “If Nepal needs to bring more airlines and tourists, it needs to ensure basic infrastructure first.” 

Upaul Majumdar, general manager of the Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu, said Nepal had witnessed lots of changes in infrastructure. The immigration process at TIA has been simplified which is a good sign of development in the hospitality sector. 

“Today, it takes 10 minutes to clear immigration at TIA compared to 40-45 minutes at other airports around the world,” he said. In the past, clearing Nepal’s immigration process used to be a big hassle, he added. 

In addition, one of the key problems hindering tourism growth, lack of electricity, has been resolved. Power is now available 24 hours a day, he said. 

“It’s a positive development that no one had imagined was possible. In fact, this development has prompted many reputed hotels brands to enter Nepal. We are likely to see at least eight global hotel brands entering Nepal’s hospitality industry in the coming years,” said Majumdar. “It’s also an indication that there are lots of opportunities in Nepal, although challenges persist.” 

Published: 18-11-2017 09:05

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