After celebrating Visit Nepal Year 1998, the number of tourists increased the following year. What are the chances of seeing a similar increase now?
The main achievement of Nepal Tourism Year (NTY) is increase in public awareness. The number of tourists increased in 2000 after celebrating Visit Nepal Year in 1998. We are optimistic that the effects of NTY 2011 will be seen in years 2012 and 2013. The carryover effect is already seen by the number of tourist arrivals in the first two months of this year.
The government has announced Visit Lumbini and Investment Year at the twilight of NTY 2011 and is organizing various programs for promotions, what effects are you expecting to see in the tourism sector from these announcements?
The government announced these campaigns out of the blue. We can see only political reasons behind it. We all concerned associations were involved in each and step while making plans for NTY 2011 and we all were prepared.
The government declared the Investment Year without doing any homework. Likewise, similar is the situation with Visit Lumbini campaign. Till now, when compared with last year, the number of visitors has decreased in Lumbini and clearly preparations are lacking.
About Visit Lumbini year declaration, didn’t the government discuss with NATTA and other concerned stakeholders?
No, we didn’t discuss with the government and we didn’t have any clue about it either. We only came to know about the event when we received a card from the government telling us that the government will declare Visit Lumibni year and conclude NTY at the same event.
Will you not help in the Lumbini campaign?
We were trying to organize a package program after the government declared Lumbini year. We requested the ministry for the establishment of tourist route from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then from Pokhara to Chtwan via Lumbini. But, due to various syndicates, it was not possible. When we informed about this to the ministry, it said that there is no such thing as syndicate throughout the nation, but we are not allowed to run the buses. If the government provides security to our buses, we can take tourists to many places.
What are the main reasons behind fixing the same fare by all the airlines which are operating international flights for a whole year?
After the Labor Ministry became little strict, the problem had decreased. Airlines companies have helped a lot to increase the number of tourists in Nepal, so we must be thankful to them.
The main reason behind such a scenario is due to weakness of Nepal Airlines. In other countries, the national flag carrier sets the fare, but in Nepal it is not the case. Nepal Airlines has received 21 ministers but not a single airplane, so airlines companies are doing as they like.