Airlines to collect overhead on tickets


KATHMANDU: The government has made arrangements for Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to reach an agreement with airlines companies for collecting the Rs 1000 per passenger on the air ticket itself, that has become effective from July 16.

According to NTB corporate director Hikmat Singh Ayer, the charge will now be included in the air ticket itself. “Now we can make the arrangement through Nepal Tourism Board’s regulation,” said Ayer.

He added that NTB was now free of the hassle of waiting for the economic bill every year. “We have taken charge as our source of income will be utilized in implementation of programmes,” he added.

The budget 2009-10 stated that the provision of Tourism Service Fee collected by NTB would be dropped from July 16. “Tourism tax on the air ticket will not affect tourists as the amount will vary between Rs 500 to Rs1000,” Ayer said.

He, however, added that it was still not clear whether Nepali citizens would have to pay the tourism tax or not. Ayer said that this aspect has not been made clear in the budget statement and that NTB is holding discussions over that.

The budget has also touched on the preparations for Nepal Tourism Year (NTY) 2011. Preparations will be made to observe NTY 2011 with the aim of bringing 10,00,000 tourists into Nepal with the slogan of “Nepali Temperament, Welcome and Hospitality to Guests”.

Under this programme, a package will be developed to attract tourists in partnership with successful organizations and institutions of the tourism sector along with dissemination of information and publicity. An interaction with all climbers of Mt Everest will be conducted in the coming fiscal year. Nepal will be developed as an attractive venue of international and regional conventions’ centre.

HAN plea to government

KATHMANDU: Though the budget has addressed the tourism sector as a national Industry the sector still lacks the facility as per industries, read a Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) release on Friday. HAN urged the government to refund the three per cent VAT amount on non VAT items like agricultural products and added that the tourism industry should be granted free visa for at least two years in order to promote Nepali tourism abroad. HAN also asked that electricity charge be allocated separately for the hotel sector and that discount in foreign currency be allowed. —HNS

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