Tourism community celebrated ‘International Sagarmatha Day’ by organizing a program in Kathmandu on May 29.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Kripashur Sherpa began the celebration by offering floral tributes on the statutes of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary – the first summiteers of Mt Everest – erected on the premises of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). Similarly, a rally was taken out from Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). Participants of the rally carried banners and placards carrying messages on different aspects of mountaineering and Mt Everest.
Addressing a program organized on NTB premises, Minister Sherpa said only around 15 percent of tourist destinations in the country have been affected by the earthquake. “Only some sections of Great Himalaya Trail, some cultural monuments in Kathmandu Valley, and few trekking trails in Langtang, Gosainkunda, Gaurishankar, and Manaslu have been affected,” he said, urging tourism entrepreneurs to take tourists to unaffected areas.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has appointed prominent Everest summiteers, including the sons of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, as the goodwill ambassadors to promote Nepali tourism products and services in the international market.
“People outside Nepal have a wrong perception that Nepal is totally devastated by the earthquake which is wrong. We have to spread the message that many of our cultural heritage sites and tourist destinations are still intact and safe for tourists,” said Sherpa.
Speaking on the occasion, Tourism Secretary Suresh Kumar Shrestha said the ministry would soon start preparations to appoint a CEO at NTB.
The post of CEO at NTB has remained vacant for years, affecting itinerary of the national tourism organization.
Similarly, Tulsi Gautam, director general of Department of Tourism (DoT), said that tourism entrepreneurs should promote other destinations, including the ones in the far-west region, which are not affected by the earthquake.
DoT, together with private sector representatives, have formed a Tourism Recovery Committee (TRC). The committee has been making plans with the help of national and international experts and tourism entrepreneurs for early recovery of tourism industry.
Speaking on the occasion, Ramesh Prasad Dhamala, president of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN), said everything cannot be accepted in the name of recovery. “We should be careful while making recovery plans,” he said, requesting the newly appointed tourism minister to join hands with private sector for the development of tourism industry.