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May 12, 2020

Tourism experts: Promotion of domestic tourism could be way out

Kathmandu: Tourism experts in a video conference said that boosting and sustaining domestic tourism in Nepal is the only way to survive the hard hit adverse effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking during the webminar, the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB)’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr, Dhananjay Regmi expressed that in the post COVID-19 period, promoting domestic tourism is the only way out for survival of the tourism.

He also said that NTB was currently collecting suggestions and opinions of the other tourism related stakeholders to conceptualize the methods of finding a way forward in the current crisis.

He hinted that the NTB by now has recommended the government about three major agenda about ameliorating the tourism sector. The suggested three NTB agenda for the government include:

  1. Job retention of the tourism sector for the staff engaged by taking the support of the job providers, job holders and the government.
  2. Through policy intervention that entails the government to amend few rules that may allow the civil servants to take the advantage of “Leave travel concession” which may be mandatory to boost up the domestic tourism.
  3. Financial Support for the tourism sector to allow more financial support to take loan to boost the tourism business on low interest rates.

Speaking during the webminar, Professor Brijesh Thapa from Florida said since no one can predict about the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism business is not going to be as usual.  He related the horrific situation of global virus pandemic with that of attack on Twin tower in September 11. He suggested that in such situation, banking on domestic tourism could be the only way out by using masks and social distancing.

He also said that Nepal could go for hygiene and sanitation and develop shorter itineraries for the alternative way out at this time.

Likewise, Professor Sanjay Nepal while speaking during the same program said that now the time is very fluid, however, Nepal could go for wellness oriented tourism with social distancing for which Nepal is a good spot.

“We really need to reshape the concept of tourism in the wake of COVID-19,” said he.

He also said that Nepal needs to learn much from the past experience with a retrospective perceptions and look forward towards the tourism prospective in the changed context.

The video conference was organized and coordinated by Gyan Nyaupane.

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