Himalayan Travel Mart, held for the first time in Kathmandu, gave a great push to the tourism industry of Nepal post-earthquake. The much awaited travel event of the country saw participants from all over the world.
Organised by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter with the theme ‘Nepal, Gateway to the Himalaya’, the event was supported by Ministry of Tourism, Government of Nepal and Nepal Tourism Board along with many other important partners including Air India.
President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari echoed her country’s tourism vision in the same line of Nepal’s biggest neighbour and tourism market, India – Atithi Devo Bhava (Guest is God)!
Shankar Prasad Adhikari, secretary, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation – Government of Nepal said, “Nepal Tourism is trying to redefine tourism in the country and establish itself as a gateway to the Himalayas.”
“The year 2016 was a year of survival and the year 2017 is a year of revival. In continuation, Nepal will be promoting 2018 as Visit Nepal Year,” informed Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board.
Together with the International Travel Bloggers and Media Conference and the Himalayan Travel Conference having presentations from leading industry advocates, the business-to-business event attracted buyers, sellers and industry professionals from around the world with an interest in Nepal and the Himalayan region.
“With the participation of around 225 international delegates from over 53 nations making it an event attended by 500 plus delegates, the event can be compared to the likes of major international travel marts around the world,” stated Sarah Mathews, chairperson of PATA.
Nepal’s turnaround in tourism sector, after the devastating earthquake in 2015, has given an indirect benefit to its neighboring country India too.
“Himalayan Travel Mart will target niche adventure tourism market of India through out of the box promotional activities with its Indian partners and the list is growing. It was significant and very crucial to have Air India as an official carrier of the show and Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani presenting the keynote speech,” said Suman Pandey, founder of Himalayan Travel Mart and chairman of PATA Nepal chapter.
With tourism playing a pivotal role in the economic development of Nepal, generating a major share of foreign currency and creating employment opportunities for the skilled labour, the Himalayan Travel Mart was an opportunity for Nepal to reap the benefits of the global gathering for a quicker revival post survival.