Nepal Tourism Board organised an interaction on attracting Chinese Tourists to Nepal on October 17, Thursday, stimulating an effective discussion to tackle the problems being faced
Hosted by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) in the presence of Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai and Secretary, Kedar Bahadur Adhikari the event started with presentations from the Tourism Board Members which highlighted the cause of holding this dialogue. The main problems faced by tourists especially Chinese, was said to be the language barrier and the lack of proper infrastructure. Due to this a lot of tourists faced difficulty during their stay as they had almost no one who understood them. Apart from these, a problem which was seen growing these past few years was the popping up of illegal operators to which a policy to stop them was one of the responses.
In the discussion round where all present could voice their own opinions, it was suggested that Nepal start using an online paying system like Alipay and Wechat as almost all of China has been digitalized including cash. Another problem faced by Nepal’s tourism industry has been the categorisation of hotels to mislead tourists such as three star hotels being advertised as five star hotels in the hopes of gaining more customers but instead bringing negative reviews. Regarding that, the Minister assured a policy for the categorisation of hotels once the issue had been looked upon carefully.
At present, the marketing strategy to increase the influx of Chinese tourists has been through business conventions, fairs and advertisements on different places such as buses. The idea of using something public such as busses which are seen daily by almost tens of thousands of people was supported and acknowledged by all. Not to mention word of mouth being the biggest influence in tourists deciding to come to Nepal or not, leaving the people to brainstorm solutions to this. The conclusion being, an addition of at least one Chinese translator in hotels where Chinese guests frequent so as to cater to all their needs and make their stay as comfortable as possible.
The Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai also said that this interaction was not the end as the Tourism was not only going to target the Chinese market but other international markets as well. He also said, “That the end goal was to not only increase the number of Chinese tourists but to also have them leaving as happy as when they had first arrived.” The interaction ended with a thank you from both sides as the programme was deemed fruitful.