KATHMANDU, Oct 31: Tourism entrepreneurs have requested political parties to bring a policy for collection of tourism tax collection as well as bring programs for tourism promotion in all seven provinces.
Organizing an interaction with representatives of major political parties in Kathmandu on Monday, Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) along with Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), Nepal Association of Tour & Travel Agents (NATTA) and Nepal Association of Rafting Agents (NARA) jointly requested the political parties to accord top priority to tourism industry in their respective election manifestos.
Along with office-bearers of HAN, NATTA President Madhusudhan Acharya, NARA President Nim Bahadur Magar, NMA President Santa Bir Lama asked the political leadership to creative environment conducive for the tourism industry.
Prakash Sharan Mahat of Nepali Congress, Surya Thapa of CPN-UML and Lila Mani Pokharel of CPN (Maoist Center) were present at the program.
The interaction also saw participation of Sugat Ratna Kansakar, managing director of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), and Durga Dutta Dhakal, executive director of Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM) as well as other tourism entrepreneurs.
Speaking at the interaction, Amar Man Shakya, the president of HAN, requested the political parties to bring a proper policy for collection of tourism taxes by local bodies and provincial governments so that tourists do not have to suffer. Stating that tourism entrepreneurs were ready to invest in all seven provinces, if infrastructure like road and power supply system, among others, are built by the government.
Similarly, NMA President Santa Bir Lama demanded that the government make it mandatory for trekkers to hire at least a guide or a porter for their own safety. Similarly, NARA President Nim Bahadur Thapa requested the government not to build hydropower power projects in river segments that are suitable for rafting.
Responding to tourism entrepreneurs, Lila Mani Pokharel of CPN (Maoist Center) said that his party would spare no effort for development and promotion of tourism industry. Similarly, Surya Thapa of CPN-UML said that his party has set a vision of welcoming five million tourists in coming five years by developing necessary infrastructure and bringing favorable policies. Similarly, Prakash Sharan Mahat of Nepali Congress said that his party would prioritize tourism sector in its election manifesto.