Even during the period of lockdown, having following the precautions for COVID-19, the renovation of NATTA Secretariat Building is in its renovation progress which is expected to complete within the month of August. In February 2020, NATTA embarked on a project to renovate its Secretariat building situated in Gairidhara Road. NATTA had started collecting and accumulating the funds from its well-wishers, peer member friends, seniors and industry allies as a contribution for the Building Renovation. Interested contributors who wish to support in this noble cause can contact at NATTA Secretariat. Every penny contributed to renovate NATTA Building will be counted as very important. A committee had been formed as a NATTA Building Renovation Committee chaired and initiated by Executive Member, Mr. Bharat Jung Pandey with Committee Members, Secretary General Mr. Sudhir Kumar Upadhyay, Secretary Ms. Jiswan Tuladhar Shrestha, Treasurer Mr. Kumar Mani Thapaliya, Executive Member Mr. Subarna Shrestha and Finance Read More
United Nations Country Team in Nepal is planning to prepare a country level socio-economic framework for the next 18 months and has developed A UN Framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19 led by UN Resident Coordinator. To make the formulation process more inclusive and participatory, UN organized consultations with the various stakeholders and beneficiary groups including tourism stakeholders. The consultations with the participants focused on the challenges such as Health, Economic Response, Social Cohesion etc. Organized as Zoom Meeting with the tourism stakeholders on 17 July 2020, NATTA Senior Vice President Mr. Binay Basnet participated in the program.
In the initiation of NATTA, a joint Press Meet was held on 16th July 2020 with the coordination of tourism umbrella associations at Baluwatar Palace. In the Press Meet, Tourism associations together have demanded the government to allow the resumption of domestic flights from August 1 and international flights from August 15. Issuing a joint press statement tourism stakeholders sought the government permission to resume the aviation business, which is considered the pivot of the overall tourism businesses. Along with allowing the international flights, stakeholders have also demanded the government to open the border points from mid-August. Tourism sector is among the hardest-hit ones since the government enforced the lockdown on March 24. Although the government eased the lockdown from June 10, most of the tourism outlets such as hotels, resorts, homestays, flights and transport means are completely shut till date that risked the employment of millions of people and Read More
In discussion for the reopening of international flights, NATTA discussed with International Airlines operating in Nepal on 13th July 2020 at Kathmandu Marriott Hotel. NATTA had been lobbying with the Nepal government bodies and concerned authorities in the reopening of the tourism industry as there had been a widespread disruption in socioeconomic activities including the tourism industry. Airlines present in the meeting suggested starting scheduled commercial flight services following the social distancing norms and safety precautions in the Airport and flight as soon as possible with 2-3 weeks pre notice for operation. The government had decided to halt the operation of international flights as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19. However, amid all this, rescue flights have been carried out to fly out foreigners stranded in Nepal and to bring in medical supplies.
Nepal Rastra Bank organized a Webinar to have the views from the stakeholders regarding the upcoming Monetary Policy for the Fiscal Year 2077/78 on 9th July 2020. On the Webinar, the stakeholders have suggested that the policy for the upcoming fiscal year should prove to be a lifeline to sustain and revive the country’s economy and businesses that have been severely hit by the COVID-19. The program was chaired by Governor of NRB, Mr. Maha Prasad Adhikari. Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Adhikari assured stakeholders that the Monetary Policy will consider the given suggestions and recommendations and focus on helping the economy to revive from the current crisis. Representing NATTA, Senior Vice President Mr. Binay Basnet participated in the Webinar organized by NRB. In regard to the upcoming Monetary Policy, President Mr. Achyut Guragain, Secretary General Mr. Sudhir Kumar Upadhyay and Treasurer Mr. Kumar Mani Thapaliya had visited Nepal Rastra Read More
A meeting with Domestic Airlines Representatives and NATTA Executives were held on 7th July 2020 at Aranya Boutique Hotel, Kathmandu. The meeting discussed the reopening of the normal operation of domestic flights after being closed for several months to contain the spread of COVID-19 infection. The objective of the meeting was to have the opinions from the Domestic Airlines as NATTA has also been urging Nepal Government to make necessary preparations for the resumption of domestic and international flights. Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) Treasurer, Mr. Rupesh Joshi on behalf of Domestic Airlines of Nepal showed eagerness in reopening of the flights and also requested NATTA to urge the Government for the situation. Airlines have started following the Protocol and Guidelines issued by the Government of Nepal. Sharing at the meeting, Representatives of Domestic Airlines also have requested to start the normal operation in all the sectors and allowing Read More
Since the COVID-19 started to effect on the world and the aviation industry, NATTA had several discourses on the matter of considerations for the agents with IATA as the impact of COVID-19 has made one and all in a difficult situation. Even since the period of the pandemic, NATTA has been raising the voice of Agents for the ease of their Payment Procedures and Refund. In the economic and social slowdown, where IATA Agents remain difficult for the regular payment, NATTA has been alarmed by a fact that IATA Agents have been receiving several charges on their Payment Procedures. NATTA believes such additional financial burdens to the members is unethical in this situation and at this time to resolve this matter NATTA is having conversations with IATA Officials and concerned departments.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has started imparting training virtually to the tourism entrepreneurs about the effective implementation of the protocol on precautions and safety measures to be taken since July 02 2020 while reopening the tourism sector after the COVID-19 pandemic. The training has been conducted in coordination with the tourism organizations; Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA), Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) and Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) to enforce the ‘Operational Guideline with Health Protocol for Tourism Sector’ that the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and NTB had prepared jointly. Some 600 tourism entrepreneurs is believed to be provided training in the first phase. The protocol includes measures to be taken by the people right from their arrival to their departure as well as by the service providers here. The protocol also encourages tourism entrepreneurs to do digital marketing to attract tourists in the Read More
On 3rd July 2020, NATTA President Mr. Achyut Guragain and Senior Vice President Mr. Binay Basnet met with Director General of Civil Authority Association of Nepal (CAAN) and President of Board of Directors of Nepal (BARN), Mr. Tanka Nidhi Dahal at CAAN Office, Babarmahal. As most of the IATA Agents are receiving interest on their due payment as Late Annual Revalidation Charge. Members have been sending a request to NATTA for the waive of the given Charge that IATA has been instigating. To express serious concern on this issue, NATTA submitted a letter and requested CAAN and BARN to take actions over it. In the pandemic of COVID-19, where Agents expect for the encouraging support from IATA, Agents have been getting charges. Also on the meeting, NATTA Executives apprised of the Refunds that hasn’t still been received of the unutilized Air tickets from the Airlines to the passengers or travel Read More
Nepal’s tourism is one of the sectors worst affected due to corona virus pandemic. Amid this, different tourism associations have requested their landlords to take only 50 per cent house rent and also provide a discount on their utility bills. Based on a decision taken during a meeting with tourism associations, 11 tourism associations jointly decided to ask the landlords to reduce their house rent. The meeting was held among Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA), TAAN, NMA, NARA, NTVA, TBAN, TTDC, VITOF Nepal, Foreign Currency Entrepreneurs Association Nepal, Kailash Yatra Association and Export Council of Nepal. In progression of lobbying, further other tourism associations also showed their solidarity in this initiation.
Nepal Tourism Board organized an unveiling program of the Operational Guideline with COVID-19 Health Protocol for Tourism Industry, via Zoom meeting on 22nd June 2020. The Operational Guideline was released by Hon'ble Minister for Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation Mr. Yogesh Bhattarai which was prepared by NTB in coordination with MoCTCA and the private sector based on the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Population and World Health Organisation. The objective of the protocol is to make the tourism sector safe and reliable during this pandemic. The guidelines are the operational modality for a smooth transition to reopen the tourism industry post-lockdown. The guidelines cover information for different tourism sectors, such as hotels, restaurants and tourism offices and how each of these shall follow safety, hygiene and sanitation measures to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. NATTA also had profoundly worked out on the draft of the Protocol and given the Read More
In the initial times of COVID-19, NATTA released a Press Statement requesting Government to increase the awareness and responsiveness and establish the Health/Help Desks in TIA, Borders and different check posts to prevent from the spread of the virus. To track the passengers from the flights of Qatar Airways, VISTARA Air, NATTA released a Press Release asking to provide the details if they have of the passengers and to follow the Lockdown and guidelines issued by Government. Regarding the Repatriation/Chartered Flights, NATTA released a Press Statement demanding for the Agent Commission on the allocated ticket from Airlines. The statement also mentioned that NATTA has been continuously coordinating with MoCTCA, CAAN and Airlines to make repatriation and chartered flights economical, managed and flexible. Various tourism associations released a Press Release stating Government to bring the Regulations for the tourism industry as tourism sector has been hit very hard due to COVID-19. Associations Read More
The tourism associations have recommended the government to incorporate provisions for promoting sustainable tourism and generating more jobs in the sector through the new Tourism Act. As the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has prepared a draft of the new Tourism Act, it had sought suggestions from the stakeholders. The new act will replace the existing 42-year-old tourism act. On June 11, tourism associations — Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA), Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN), Nepal Mountaineering Association, Hotel Association Nepal, Tourist Bus Association of Nepal and other associations — had jointly submitted recommendations to Hon'ble Tourism Minister Mr. Yogesh Bhattarai and Tourism Secretary Mr. Kedar Bahadur Adhikari. Meanwhile, the stakeholders have also requested the government to make it mandatory for tourists to hire a guide on a trip or a trek. They have also requested the government to give more space to Read More
Nepal Government planned on bringing Nepali citizens to Nepal from abroad in the period of COVID-19 via Chartered flights from the designated destinations. In this situation, during the arrangements of the travellers in returning to Nepal, NATTA urged the Government to let all the NATTA IATA agents of Nepal to provide the ticketing facilities for them systematized through NATTA. The appeal to the concerned Committee was in requesting to not give the authorisation to only specific travel agencies to handle the ticketing purpose which would be highly supportive to travel agencies of Nepal in this pandemic situation. In this regard, NATTA also had a Zoom Meeting with NATTA IATA Agents of Nepal on 4th June 2020 taking the consent of IATA agents where most of them expressed their support to carry on the responsibility of Chartered Flights in division of teams. NATTA submitted a letter and requested for the less Read More
On 29th May 2020, Meeting with Past President was held via Zoom Application with the presence of all the Past Presidents chaired by Convener of Council of NATTA Past Presidents (CNPP), Mr. RR Pandey. The meetings discussed on the several agendas of the meeting. NATTA has been working ubiquitously in the time of Pandemic for the restoration of tourism. Discussing on the situation, changed by COVID-19, Presidents advised that not being left behind than the other countries, Nepal should remain open for business taking full precautions. Likewise, Renovation of Secretariat Building had been praised by the Presidents and assured for full support on this admirable initiation. While talking on financial issues and Secretarial Arrangements, Past Presidents suggested NATTA Board to take decision as per situational favor. All the Past Presidents praised the active role of NATTA Board and President during this pandemic situation. This was the first meeting after the Read More
The 13th International Sagarmatha Day was celebrated with the theme of ‘Everest Inspires For Resilience’ on 29th May 2020 at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Singha Durbar. Amidst the various representatives from different government and tourism agencies, the day was marked with a special address to the mountaineering community and remembrance of the first ascent on Mt Everest on 29 May 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. Extending best wishes on the occasion, Honorable Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mr. Yogesh Bhattarai expressed confidence that Nepal's tourism will return to normal soon and the happiness of mountaineers will return. Chairman of 13th International Sagarmatha Day Main Organizing Committee and Secretary of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mr. Kedar Bahadur Adhikari thanked the representatives of various tourism organizations and government officials to make their time to commemorate the special day with Read More
COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown period have been a very hard time for the Tourism sector and the impact shall remain for the time even after this COVID 19 crisis is over. In this pandemic, NATTA had been having several interactions and meetings with different sectors to discuss and work on Revival Plans for tourism. Various ideas had been given suggested by the tourism industrialists. Promotion of Domestic Tourism has been a significant plan of action in the revival of tourism of the country. As for a certain time, there is the least prospect of welcoming tourists from abroad and now the Government has been focusing on promoting Domestic Tourism. There has also been proposed for Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) to the staffs for promotion in Domestic Tourism with the system of regular office times from Monday-Friday, having the weekend off i.e Saturday and Sunday so the nationals can utilize the Read More
On April 30, 2020, NATTA President Mr. Achyut Guragain and Senior VP Mr. Binay Basnet had the meeting with newly appointed Ambassador of Nepal to China, Hon'ble Mr. Mahendra Bahadur Pandey at Nepal Tourism Board. The meeting was held in the presence of CEO of NTB, Officials of NTB and some of the Chinese Tour Operators of Nepal where the discussion revolved around the role and support to the promotion of Nepalese tourism in China especially in the post COVID19 scenario.
In the initiation of UFTAA, NATTA had participated in an Interactive Session via Conference Call with UFTAA Delegations on 29th March 2020 speaking on the current issues especially in the matter of IATA. The participating members were from various continents; Europe; Middle East; Africa; South Asia & Asia which brought greater awareness on industry happenings and shared a global perspective of challenges travel agencies currently face. UFTAA President Sunil Kumar R, shared about the communications UFTAA sent to IATA and demands made for an immediate positive response to support agencies honour refunds to passengers and to ensure the safety of passenger money. As COVID-19 has caused them large losses due to cancellation of flights. Associations sought support from UFTAA to endorse their communication to IATA requiring an extension of the payment deadline. As informed, UFTAA would continue to endorse to IATA all communications copied to UFTAA to seek an extension Read More
Amid widespread concerns in Nepal and the World Health Organization raising the global risk of the Covid-19 outbreak to “very high”, the government is now scrambling to step up measures to contain the possible outbreak of the deadliest infectious disease. Please find here the updates on the measures taken by government in regard to COVID-19: