The 43rd Annual General Meeting of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Nepal Chapter, has unanimously appointed Bibhuti Chand Thakur, chair of Himalayan Holidays Treks and Tours as the chairperson of the executive committee.
The AGM — with the theme ‘Design Thinking – Creating Lifetime Experiences in Nepal’ also appointed other officials. According a press release issued by PATA, Thakur succeeds Sunil Sakya who was elected the chair on December 13, 2017, and remains in the executive committee as the immediate past chairman.
Thakur expressed that being elected the chairperson was an honour and that he felt 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 in 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.”
The AGM elected Deepak Raj Joshi (CEO – NTB) as the 1st vice-chairperson, Tanka Nidhi Dahal (Commercial Director – Nepal Airlines) as the 2nd vice-chairperson, Shiva Prasad Dhakal (Chairperson – Royal Mountain Travel-Nepal Pvt Ltd) as the general secretary, and Khem Raj Lakai (CEO – Global Academy of Tourism & Hospitality Education) as the treasurer.
Similarly, the executive committee comprises four 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 also elected six 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 a formal function and award presentation ceremony following the AGM, the PATA Personality of the Year 2019 Award was presented to Rabindra Raj Pandey, executive chairman of Everest Express Tours and Travels. Likewise, the Best Student Chapter of the Year 2019 was awarded to Mid Valley International College.
PATA Nepal also handed out the letter of appreciation to two individuals — Mina Khadka who just retired from PATA Nepal Secretariat after 23 years of service and Nisha Bhote, a member at PATA Nepal, Student Chapter who successfully reached the summit of Mt Everest.
In the event, outgoing chairman Sakya extended thanks to all members and stakeholders of Nepal’s tourism sector for continued collaboration and support to the association.
Addressing the AGM, Mario Hardy (CEO-PATA HQ) congratulated PATA Nepal for its active engagement in the country. Keynote Speaker, Stu Lloyd (Chief Hothead, HotHead Innovations) highlighted the Design Thinking approaches to be adopted by travel and tourism industry professionals of public and private sectors to welcome visitors with the best possible products and services that Nepal can offer to create lifetime experiences for all their guests.
Similarly, 1st vice-chairperson Joshi said that NTB was dedicated to working together with private sectors in developing prospective tourism destinations. 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.