May 26, 2024

Demand that policymakers prioritize the development of the tourism industry

Demand that policymakers prioritize the development of the tourism industry

KATHMANDU, April 11:Stakeholders stated that policymakers should prioritize the development of Nepal's tourist industry.

This was said by the participants of the discussion held by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) with the International Relations and Tourism Committee of the Parliament focusing on the development of the tourism industry.

In a discussion with the CNI's Tourism Committee, CNI Chairman Rajesh Kumar Agarwal stated that, while Nepal has enormous tourism potential, the country has not reaped the benefits.

He stated that in order to strengthen the national flag bearer while strengthening and expanding Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), the company should bring strategic partners to make it competitive in the international  market.

He emphasized the importance of taking tangible steps to restore the direct aviation link with European countries, which was severed in 2013, and suggested that the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) be divided into two parts: a service provider and a regulator.

According to him, the private sector wants to be able to run tourist activities in around two dozen domestic airports that have been finished but not yet operational, as well as to have the VAT on air tickets removed.

Hit Bahadur Tamang, Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, stated that the Bhairahawa and Pokhara International Airports are not running correctly and that everyone must work together to ensure their success.

He called for proposals on how to re-establish direct flight connectivity with Europe.

Rajkishore Yadav, Chairman of the International Relations and Tourism Committee, stated that tourism is a sector that may generate significant returns with minimal investment.

He emphasized the need of policy stability, stating that the committee prioritizes the overall development of the tourism sector.

Yadav stressed the importance of tourism development and the necessity for the commercial sector to come up with concrete proposals on how to gain from it.

He also requested that the items to be included in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year be noted as soon as feasible. He stated that the group will assist in bringing the private sector's proposals to the Minister of Tourism and Finance.

Udaya Shamsher Rana, a member of parliament (MP), stated that the committee had not received the ICAO report on CAAN reform for nine months.

He stated that the committee for the betterment of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has constituted a subcommittee to investigate the matter further.

He stated that the business sector, not political parties, should be able to convince the general public that an international airport will be built in Nijgadh.

He stated  that everyone agrees that an international airport should be built in Nijgadh, but because the Pokhara and Bhairahawa International Airports are not operating efficiently, there are concerns regarding Nijgadh.

MP Bhim Acharya, a former tourism minister, claims that the government has not done any homework to ensure the smooth running of Pokhara and Bhairahawa airports.

He highlighted that both airports can be managed and that efforts should be made to fill the airports. He also stated that it is critical to construct Nijgadh International Airport.

MPs Eknath Dhakal, Dr. Dhawal Shamsher Rana, and Shishir Khanal requested specific proposals from the commercial sector regarding tourism-related issues and solutions.