Print Edition - 2015-06-06 | MONEY
Lumbini travel traders act to revive tourism
Jun 5, 2015-
Travel traders in Lumbini have started a promotional campaign to revive the region’s flagging tourism following the April 25 earthquake.
An 11-member team including journalists led by Chandra Prakash Shrestha, president of the Siddhartha Hotel Association of Nepal, departed for Bangkok, Thailand on Friday to whip up business under the slogan Visit Lumbini, Help Nepal.
The delegation is scheduled to hold a photo exhibition of Lumbini and various other Buddhist pilgrim sites on June 7.
“The objective of the trip is to promote Lumbini and Nepal’s other tourism sites in Bangkok,” said Chetan Panta, the coordinator of the promo tour.
“We will also be holding discussions and interactions with the media and tour operators in Thailand to convince them that Nepal is safe to visit.”
According to him, the Nepal Embassy in Thailand, Non-Resident Nepali Association and local tour operators will also be urged to promote Nepal at this time of crisis.
The earthquake has spread a negative message that Nepal is unsafe to visit, and the purpose of this trip is to assure potential Thai visitors that the country is secure, the Siddhartha Hotel Association of Nepal said.
Tourism entrepreneurs are worried about the future scenario as hotels and restaurants in Nepal have almost emptied and advance bookings have sunk to near zero as potential visitors abandoned their plans scared by the scenes of destruction in the media.
Tourism entrepreneurs said that since the government was busy with relief and reconstruction, the private sector should carry out promotional activities in the international arena with its own resources.
Meanwhile, the Adventure Travel Trade Association, a global trade network supporting sustainable adventure travel markets worldwide through adventure travel news, research and events, said the earthquake had shaken the land of Nepal, but not the courage, strength and spirit of its people.
It said that despite the damage to historical and cultural monuments, Nepal was still able to welcome tourists with open arms. Roads and air transport links remain intact across the country, and a majority of hotels and restaurants are back in operation.
Apart from the regions of Manaslu and Langtang, most trekking areas have escaped widespread damage. Tourism is one of the mainstays of the Nepali economy, and Nepal will certainly need the income that tourism brings as it attempts to recover from this disaster, it said.
The association added that the majestic Himalaya mountains and lush countryside still await the more intrepid visitor, while the people of the region busily rebuild so they can welcome visitors with the friendliness and generosity that the Nepali people are famous for.
Travelling to these areas will help the local economy enormously, and will function as a primary source of ongoing sustainable aid.
“Have you ever travelled to Nepal? Start making plans! October and November are Nepal’s peak season for tourism, and are, of course, the best time of the year to come and visit,” it said.
Published: 06-06-2015 10:50