Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter successfully concluded its 43rd Annual General Meeting at Park Village Hotel and Resort under the theme “Design Thinking – Creating Lifetime experiences in Nepal”
The AGM held on December 19, 2019, unanimously appointed the New Executive Committee with the Chairmanship of Bibhuti Chand Thakur, Chairman of Himalayan Holidays Treks and Tours. He succeeds Sunil Sakya who was elected as the Chairman on December 13, 2017, then and remains in the Executive Committee as the Immediate Past Chairman.
On his appointment, Bibhuti Chand Thakur said, “It is an honor and I feel humbled. I feel a sense of profound gratitude and immense responsibility to be joining this office of PATA as the chairman and to be entrusted with this responsibility to safeguard the legacy of this institution. PATA Nepal will continue to work with the spirit of PATA headquarters and is also committed to working closely with the Government, Ministry of Tourism, Nepal Tourism Board and reach out to work closely with all our tourism-related associations and private sectors.” He also said, "At PATA Nepal, we are prioritizing our engagement on new concepts of marketing, human capital development and research of resource identification, product development and service standardization in tourism; as well as exerting our advocacy for infrastructure development on utmost priority, strengthening Aviation along with the growth and development of our national flag carrier and our policy reforms would continue in our tenure which is also the need of the hour to achieve our Government’s vision of "Prosperous Nepal and Happy Nepali" through tourism. ”
Accordingly, the AGM elected 1st Vice Chairman - Deepak Raj Joshi (CEO - NTB), 2nd Vice Chairman - Tanka Nidhi Dahal (Commercial Director - Nepal Airlines), General Secretary - Shiva Prasad Dhakal (Chairman - Royal Mountain Travel -Nepal Pvt. Ltd.), Hon. Treasurer – Khem Raj Lakai (CEO - Global Academy of Tourism & Hospitality Education). The Executive Committee comprises of 4 Ex officio members including Dandu Raj Ghimire (Director General - Department of Tourism), Rajan Pokharel (Deputy. Director - Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal), Krishna Gopal Joshi (Corporate Director - Nepal Airlines), and Shradha Shrestha (Brand Manager-NTB). Other Executive Members include Narendra Deo Bhatta (MD – Heritage Tours and Travels), Reetal Rana (Managing Director - Mid Valley Int’l College), Abdullah Tuncer Kececi (General Manager - Turkish Airlines), Tashi Gurung (MD - Himalaya Kailash Travels & Tours), Manjani Shrestha (Marketing Chief - Summit Air), Tika Ram Sapkota (MD - Nepal Vacation) and Ram Kumar Barakoti (Managing Director - Hiking Adventure Treks Pvt. Ltd.)
During the AGM, PATA Nepal Chapter also elected 6 Proxy Members to its Executive Committee including Lakpa Phuti Sherpa (Founder - Luxury DMC Travels), Sunil Kumar Bhusal (CEO - Premier Hotel School), Lila Dhar Bhandari (CEO - Going Nepal), Sanjay Bhakta Mathema (President - SDU Travels), Prithbi Shrestha (MD - Nepal Kaze Travels), and Kul Prasad Subedi (MD - Himalayan Smile Treks and Adventures).
During the Formal Function and Award Presentation Ceremony in the evening of AGM, the PATA Personality of the Year 2019 Award was presented to Rabindra Raj Pandey, Executive Chairman of Everest Express Tours and Travels in recognition of his lifelong contribution to the tourism industry and being an outspoken, dynamic and multifaceted personality with friendly and cheerful nature; the man with clarity, creativity, and prompt decision-making ability who has a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values.
Similarly, the Best Student Chapter of the Year 2019 was awarded to Mid Valley International College for their great dedication and contribution towards the PATA Nepal Student Chapter initiatives and engagement.
PATA Nepal also facilitated a Letter of Appreciation to Two Individuals, Mina Khadka who has just retired from PATA Nepal Secretariat after her 23 years of dedicated service; and Nisha Bhote, a YTP Member at PATA Nepal Student Chapter who successfully completed her mission to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
The outgoing chairman Sunil Sakya extended thanks to all the members and stakeholders of Nepal's tourism for the continued collaboration and support to the association; inviting and requesting all present to work together for sustainable development of tourism in the country. He also urged the Honorable Tourism Minister, Government and Private sector stakeholders to seriously consider continuing the tenure of Deepak Raj Joshi as CEO of NTB for at least one year keeping in consideration the very crucial mission in 2020 with Visit Nepal Year which will definitely support this national campaign without deviating our integrated and collaborative efforts in due course of time.
Addressing at the AGM, Dr Mario Hardy (CEO-PATA HQ) congratulated PATA Nepal Chapter for its active engagement in the country and gave a presentation on "Harnessing Global Tourism Opportunities" with emphasis on "Collaboration for Tomorrow" as the PATA's vision and Focus for the year 2020. He recommended making the ease for travel formalities including Visa for as many countries as possible for welcoming more tourists in Nepal.
The Keynote Speaker, Stu Lloyd (Chief Hothead, HotHead Innovations) highlighted on Design Thinking approaches to be adopted by travel and tourism industry professionals at the public and private sector to welcome visitors with the best possible products and services that Nepal can offer to create lifetime experiences for all their guests. He emphasized on some fundamentals to present Nepal as Lifetime Experiences destination including providing hassle-free immigration, more VNY2020 information to local and international travelers, connecting travelers to experience local culture in a secure environment, etc.
The first Vice-Chairman of PNC and CEO of NTB, Deepak Raj Joshi extended congratulations to PATA Nepal Chapter for the very successful and progressive tenure under the leadership of Sunil Sakya; and said that NTB is dedicated to working together with private sectors in developing more prospective destinations and in every aspect of tourism promotion and development.
Similarly, Suraj Vaidya, the National Program Coordinator of Visit Nepal 2020 congratulated the newly elected executive committee and extended his gratitude to PATA for the continued collaboration and partnership with VNY 2020 campaign; especially with two major initiatives, NICE (Nepal India China Expo) and PATA YTPs Engagement (Volunteers) at TIA.