Nepali tourism sales mission in China


In its bid to promote Nepal in the booming Chinese market, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) in association with ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation and Air China organised a sales mission in Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing from March 19 to 27.

Actively participated in by the private sector travel trade industry, the first session of the mission in Chengdu was attended by more than 110 tour operators and media persons, states a NTB press release here.

NTB made the ‘Naturally Nepal’ multimedia presentation and Air China briefed tour operators and the media about the new flight schedules between Chengdu and Kathmandu. The tailor-made Business to Business (B2B) session was organised following the presentation where Nepali tour operators interacted with their Chinese counterparts for business promotion and negotiation.

The second leg of the mission was held in Shanghai where NTB hosted an appreciation dinner in honour of prominent journalists and tour operators who have been supporting Nepal and NTB since Nepal received approved destination status in 2001. NTB and private sector participants attended the World Travel Fair 2007, the only outbound travel fair in China March 22 to 25. Most of the ADS country showcased their tourism products and services for the aspirant Chinese travellers. Visit Pokhara Year 2007 and the new tourism brand of Nepal ‘Naturally Nepal-Once is not enough’ were the major highlights of the Nepal stand at the WTF 2007.

The third sitting of the mission was held in the capital city of Beijing which was attended by a significantly large number of Nepal selling tour operators, media persons, writers and Nepal lovers.

During the programme, the Nepali and Chinese tour operators appreciated Rajaram Bartaula, first secretary at the Nepali embassy in Beijing for his assurance of prompt service delivery and all necessary cooperation required for tourism promotion in China on the their part. Similarly, NTB organised a gathering of tour operators and media in Guangzhou, the commercial and industrial hub in South China on 29 March.

More than 120 tour operators and journalists attended the function. The business-to-business session followed a presentation by NTB.

The concluding leg of the mission was held in Lhasa on March 30, where NTB hosted an appreciation dinner in honour of tour operators and media based in Lhasa.

Since China relaxed restrictions on overseas travel by its citizens in late 1990s, the Chinese outbound tourism market is growing by leaps and bounds. The accelerating economic growth supported by the strong domestic demand and exports have created an ever-increasing demand for overseas travels among Chinese citizens. In 2006 alone, more than 34 million Chinese travelled overseas. However, in comparison to the other destinations, Nepal is receiving only a few tourists from this enormous tourism market. Tourist arrival statistics from China to Nepal in February 2007 showed an astonishing increase of 281 per cent, compared to the same month in 2006.

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