PM Dahal inaugurates 4th Himalayan Travel Mart
The 4th Himalayan Travel Mart (HMT2023) by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter was successfully inaugurated on June 6, 2023. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal inaugurated the event at Hotel Yak and Yeti. The program was also attended by dignitaries from the Department of Tourism, officials from the PATA Nepal Chapter, Nepal Tourism Board, Hotel Association Nepal, and various other delegates.
The chief guest, PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal, talked extensively about tourism as a priority sector. He also talked about unparalleled natural beauty, cultural heritage, adventure tourism products, and genuine services in Nepal. He promised to “invest in infrastructure development, embrace digital technology, prioritize social responsibility and sustainability, and invite the global community to invest in the tourism sector of Nepal.” He believes that peaceful elections, political stability, and economic development provide the ideal environment for us all to join hands toward the common goal of achieving sustainability and eco-tourism in Nepal. He assured that the government prioritizes enhancing infrastructure, upgrading transport facilities, implementing policy reforms, strengthening the aviation sector, fostering private section collaboration, and promoting sustainable tourism to make Nepal the ideal tourist destination.
The chairman of the PATA Nepal Chapter, Mr. Bibhuti Chand Thakur, focused on the slow and steady recovery that the tourism sector has made after the pandemic. He expressed the commitment of PATA to serve its 800+ community members by “fostering connections, building networks, brands and insights, forging international collaboration and providing numerous opportunities.” He mentioned how “HTM provides a platform annually, for fostering business opportunities, and sharing valuable industry insights.” He clarified that the focus of HTM2023 is “to deliver insightful conferences, promote the nation’s tourism, facilitate networking, and foster mutually beneficial business opportunities.”
The vice president of PATA, Benjamin Lao, encouraged promoting travel as a force for good. He considered himself humble to reinvigorate relationships after global recovery from covid and proud to be surrounded by the hard-working travel agencies of Nepal. He assured that PATA would listen to its supporters regarding the betterment of the world.
Sir Bryan Wilkie gave his remarks regarding tourism and philanthropy. He expressed that the mixture of these fields had the potential to have a great impact for good by reshaping society in a meaningful way. He was delighted to announce how various philanthropic projects such as four adventure challenges in various areas have raised five million dollars and built the first proper hospital in Illam. He mentioned the significance of activity tourism, volunteer tourism, etc. He explained that integrating philosophy into tourism can inject millions into the local economy, conserve heritage, and uplift lives to make a difference that lasts.
The CEO of NTB, Dhananjay Regmi, clarified tourism as an essential field in Nepal that provides employment to 1 million people and promotes development. He was optimistic regarding a minimum of 92% recovery from Covid by the end of 2023. He explained the role of NTB in running international promotional campaigns, such as the “Destination Nepal campaign”, “Nepal Torusim Year” etc. He also mentioned that NTB participates in over 30 international trade fairs and organizes 20+ sales events annually to promote tourism in Nepal. He also informed the Dragon boat festival in Pokhara in collaboration with China, which is to be conducted annually. He mentioned how this festival, the lifting of the European Union Ban on safety risk, and the construction of Bhirahawa and Pokhara Airport is to drive a large number of tourists to Nepal