Jun 20, 2024

Starting Strong: Intl. Tourism Campaign 2024 with USAID, NTB, Steller

Starting Strong: Intl. Tourism Campaign 2024 with USAID, NTB, Steller

KATHMANDU, April 03:April 1, marked the successful launch of the International Tourism Campaign in Kathmandu. The event, a collaborative effort between USAID, the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), and Steller, aims to showcase Nepal's diverse attractions to a global audience through the power of social media and influential personalities. It was organized at the Kathmandu Marriott Hotel.

Deepak Kafle, Chairman of the NTB and Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, congratulated the success of the USAID-NTB-Steller Campaign 2024 so far. He emphasized the importance of leveraging social media and influential personalities to highlight Nepal's diverse landscape and attract visitors who value and contribute to preserving the country's natural and cultural beauty.

Dean Thompson, Ambassador of the American Embassy to Nepal, focused his remarks on the “people” aspect of tourism. He highlighted Nepal's welcoming atmosphere for tourists, efforts to cater to LGBTQ travelers and solo female visitors, and the country's potential as an accessible tourism destination for people with disabilities. Thompson also commended USAID's work and highlighted collaborations with hotels and tourism providers, as well as the spiritual connection between Nepal and its large neighboring countries.

Vazul Szakacs, Partnership Director at Steller, highlighted the diverse experiences offered by Nepal, including vibrant holy festivals and unique events like ice skating with international invitees. He emphasized the collaboration's reach of over 16 million potential travelers and $15.8 million in earned media value, showcasing Nepal's food, culture, history, and luxurious experiences.

Nandini Lahe Thapa, Senior Director at NTB, expressed gratitude for the successful event and highlighted the joint efforts between USAID, NTB, and Steller. She mentioned collaborations with international content creators to capture Nepal's essence and reach over 20 million people. Thapa emphasized the role of social media in promoting tourism and noted a good recovery of tourist numbers post-COVID, nearing 2019 levels.

Suraj Vaidya, convenor of Visit Nepal 2020, underscored the importance of presenting Nepal in diverse ways to showcase its leadership in tourism within South Asia and beyond. He highlighted Nepal's rich culture and heritage, new tourism products, and unique attractions like the ice skating event and rafting in Karnali. Vaidya also stressed the significance of religious tourism, particularly focusing on Lumbini as the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

The event was attended by Chief of Party USAID Agnes Luiz, Acting USAID Mission Director Ms. Maria Televatos, Govinda Karki, Joint-Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies, six collaborative influencers from the UK, Canada, the US, Norway, and India, as well as representatives from collaborative partners such as Ace Hotels and Nepal Tea Collective. Additionally, various tourism influencers, stakeholders, and representatives from organizations like HAN were present.

The event was preceded by a training workshop on influencer marketing and digital media storytelling, with individuals from Stellar, USAID, NTB and Uptrendy providing information on social media growth to companies associated with tourism, along with influencers like Oshin Sitaula, Rehan Shrestha, and Snajog Koirala.