"The Nepal Hospitality Conclave (NHC) is a platform where knowledge can be shared and gained."
A key figure in Nepal’s tourism and hospitality sector, Shreejana Rana is excited to attend the inaugural Nepal Hospitality Conclave 2022, which is set to take place on Sunday, September 25 at The Soaltee Kathmandu.
Rana, the President of the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), who is the first woman to hold the position since its establishment in 1967, believes that Nepal Hospitality Conclave (NHC) is crucial in supporting and enhancing the experience of the hospitality industry.
Excerpt from an interview with Rana.
What is the main objective of the Nepal Hospitality Conclave, and what industries, besides hospitality, can look forward to in the conclave?
The main objective of the hospitality conclave is to bring together all the stakeholders, from policymakers to representatives across the hospitality sector, be it food and beverage, accommodation or recreation. The conclave is a platform where knowledge can be shared and gained. We will be able to gain further insight and understanding on how to enhance the tourism and hospitality sector. I believe that everyone interested in Nepal and what Nepal has to offer can look forward to the conclave to understand the nuances of the hospitality sector.
What major highlight/s do you intend to convene at the Nepal Hospitality Conclave (NHC)?
The conclave will have a few major highlights, including the inauguration of “Nepal: A Journey from East to West”, a coffee table book visualised by HAN to highlight and promote tourism and hospitality across the seven provinces. Besides that, we will be facilitating and honouring individuals who have promoted Nepal’s culture through their cuisine books to the world.
How would the Nepal Hospitality Conclave promote and formulate initiatives for the welfare of Nepal’s hospitality industry?
The conclave is a platform where hospitality industry issues, innovative ideas, and many other topics will be discussed—from digitisation to standardisation, policy issues, the role and impact of women, and so much more.
I believe in open dialogue, supporting each other and working together to create a robust ecosystem within the travel and hospitality industry. Hence, the panel discussions, networking arena and solution providers and suppliers showcasing their products and ideas are all set up to help the welfare of Nepal’s hospitality industry.
Were any modifications made to the planning and execution of NHC as it had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
The conclave has had to be postponed due to the pandemic and clashes of time. Other than the conclave being a one-day event with numerous panels, the planning and execution has remained the same, with the same motivation to bring together stakeholders, have open dialogue and learn strengths, weaknesses and strategies to move forward with a clear picture of the circumstances in Nepal.
What aspects contribute to an ‘excellent tourist experience’ in Nepal?
I would like to reiterate—tourism and hospitality go hand in hand. People want to come and visit Nepal for the beauty, from the Mountains to the rich culture Nepal offers. But it is Nepalese hospitality which brings people back time and time again as the relationship between the guest and the host and host country is central to making a lasting impression on our guests. And so it is the warmth of the people and the open embrace of sharing our culture that makes for an excellent tourist experience in Nepal.
What facet of Nepal’s tourism industry portrays the most significant challenges?
As with any other industry, we also have weaknesses and challenges, infrastructure and connectivity being the major ones. Nepal has many beautiful destinations, but travelling to those places is difficult and can hinder tourists. Another problem is the lack of skilled manpower. Many of our youth are leaving the country for better opportunities. HAN, in collaboration with other associations, is working our level best to ensure we can retain the local talents.