Promote internal tourism for tourism revival
Experts have suggested that promotion of domestic tourism was the only option for the survival of the country's tourism industry that has been badly dented by the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The speakers of an online webinar entitled, 'Domestic Tourism and Survival Strategy (Effectiveness and Survival Roadmap for Better Future)', stressed on promoting domestic tourism to keep the tourism industry afloat. The webinar was organised by Excel Trip Nepal on Wednesday.
The discussion centred on how internal tourism could support the country's tourism industry at a time of drastic reduction in the number of foreign tourist arrivals. Tourism entrepreneur Karna Shakya,
Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) president Khum Bahadur Subedi, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) former chief executive officer Deepak Raj Joshi, Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN)'s first vice-president Binayak Shah participated in the webinar.
On the occasion, Shakya urged the government to invest the amount it has allocated to the Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign to the promotion of the domestic tourism. He suggested NTB should prepare and disseminate videos of Nepal's major religious, cultural, natural and historical tourist destinations in the Nepali language. Shakya urged the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to focus on varied potential areas of tourism in the country while chalking out the strategy of promoting domestic tourism.
Former NTB CEO Joshi, referring to an increase in internal tourists in 2016, pointed out the need to further buttressing domestic tourism by building on this basis. He urged the government and the tourism entrepreneurs to give special attention to promoting tourism products and facilities catering to the needs of the domestic tourists.
HAN first vice-president Shah said HAN plans to bring a package programme suitable to the domestic tourists and sought the government's cooperation to that regard. TAAN president Subedi said they would introduce special package targeting the Nepalis to attract them towards trekking. Excel Trip's country director Aditya Baral opined that the tourism industry should be kept afloat through the promotion of internal tourism through concerted and integrated efforts from all sides in the present difficult situation. Excel Trip is globally the fastest expanding online travel platform.