Entrepreneurship key to development of tourism

KATHMANDU: Absence of culture of tourism entrepreneurship is responsible for the under development of tourism sector. “There are so many potential destinations and products that are waiting to be exploited,” said Sharat Singh Bhandari, minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation during the 12th anniversary celebration of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) here in the Valley today.

The sole objective of Nepal Tourism Year (NTY) 2011 is to incorporate tourism as the business of general Nepalis along with sending a message to international community that Nepal is back as the destination for travel, “The head counting is not important,” he said, adding that it is also not about how many tourists will visit during the NTY 2011 that has targetted to welcome one million tourists.

“NTY will be the means to create awareness among Nepalis that everyone can be involved in the tourism industry,” Bhandari added. “We can also send the information in the international market that we are back to our former self –Shangri-La,” he explained. NTY 2011 is not the government’s programme rather the country’s, “thus each and every Nepali has to be involved in the grand success of the event,” Bhandari added. Ganesh Simkhada, private industry representative in NTB’s executive committee complained that the preparation and promotion of NTY 2011is not good enough.

The minister also pointed out the need for Tourism Council so that more and more stakeholders can be aggregated for maximum participation in the process of policy making and implementation. “Ministry’s Tourism Department was transformed into an independent board in participation of private sector,” said Kishor Thapa, secretary of MoTCA and chairman of NTB.

“NTB needs institutional representatives –no party affiliated representatives can do any good to the sector. This is an excellent example of successful implementation of Public-Private Partnership (PPP), he said, adding that more private sector participation is required. NTB was established in 1998 with the partnership between government and private sector tourism industries.

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