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 weekend by travelling around domestic places.
NATTA has been continuously lobbying with Government, Nepal Tourism Board, fellow associations, members during this pandemic to discuss and receive suggestions on the Revival of Tourism post-COVID-19.
To interact and take the views of our members, NATTA organized several Interaction programs with NATTA Members in different categorization on the topic Interaction on Revival of Tourism Post-COVID-19 via Zoom Application.
MEETING WITH TOUR OPERATORS (CHINESE)
An interaction program was held on 4th May 2020 via Zoom Application with the participation of several Chinese Tour Operators from Nepal.
As recently HAN had announced for the closure of all the hotels until September, this has led the tour operators in a matter of contention. On this trending matter, where hotels have announced of the closure for the months, tour operators seem to be concerned in the situation.
Since for certain time, the impact of COVID-19 is going to be in effect, Domestic Tourism is the only key to support the industry. Therefore, there had been some discussions about how the industry can be in the stage of progress.
In the discussion, tour operators also assumed that entrepreneurs should learn from previous errors and utilize the current time for the coming days. They also expressed their expectations to have a good budget mobilised for the tourism industry from the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2077-78 to revive the country’s tourism industry.
MEETING WITH TOUR OPERATORS (INDIAN MARKET)
With the number of participations of tour operators specializing in Indian Market and the presence of Chief Guest, Former CEO of NTB, Mr. Deepak Raj Joshi, an Interaction program was held via Zoom Application on 6th May 2020.
Welcoming all the participants, Senior VP Mr. Binay Basnet familiarized the idea of the interaction and opened the floor. President Guragain explained about the engagements of how NATTA has been actively participating in the meetings to work for the uplifting of the tourism industry post-COVID-19.
Mr. Joshi on the interaction emphasized on the promotion of new potential destinations of Nepal and encourage for the trend of the events such as honeymoon, wedding destinations in Nepal.
Several ideas had been shared among the participants of the Interaction. Participants suggested updating the websites with more interesting details of Nepal and its destinations. Also, consuming the safety protocols and training the tourism personnel about the Safety Measures from COVID-19, notify tourists about the Safety procedures Nepal has been taking.
It has also been suggested that most of the provinces should bring a new destination. And with the coordination of NATTA Provinces, several promotions and endorsements can be done.
President of NATTA Provinces were also present in the Interaction program.
MEETING WITH OUTBOUND TOUR OPERATORS
Moderated by Secretary and Chairperson of Outbound Tour Committee Ms. Jiswan Tuladhar Shrestha, yet another Interaction program with Outbound Agents of Nepal was held on 25th May 2020 via Zoom Application. The objective of the meeting was to know the insights from outbound Tourism entrepreneurs in this situation and have the versions of the members.
On the interaction, issue of outbound business to be revived post-COVID -19 and the efforts to sustain the companies, the waive of the rent cost and salary to the staffs in this financial crisis with the working modality of the people be it from home or office. And NTB’s plan and strategies to revive the industry with the possibility of relief package for outbound agencies as well.
The issues had been discussed and several opinions had been shared by Special Speakers Ms. Mihika Dhakwa, Mr. Raju Dhakal, Mr. Ramesh Paudel. NATTA President Mr. Achyut Guragain, IPP Mr. CN Pandey and Senior VP Mr.Binay Basnet.
Member participants also shared their views about the major role of NATTA in easing outbound tour operators problems post-COVID-19. The program was ended with some of the fun questions to the participants of the meeting. This interaction was also organized as a refreshment to catch up with the members in this pandemic situation via the internet.