KATHMANDU, Sept 12: Various associations, organizations and experts in the field of tourism have demanded the government create the necessary environment for the full-fledged operation of tourism businesses.
In a press conference in Kathmandu on Sunday, Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA), Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) jointly urged the government to allow the full-fledged operation of the tourism business in Nepal. Dhananjay Ghimire, Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board, said that the government should make arrangements for visas on arrival of vaccinated tourists. He also said that the government should include private sector tourism entrepreneurs in every decision-making meeting in order to promote and develop the tourism sector.
“We have been asking the government to open the tourism business time and again. There should be a system where the private sector is included in policy making decisions too. Also, our demand is that vaccinated tourists should be allowed to visit Nepal and tourists who are Covid-19 negative for more than 96 hours should not be quarantined,” he said.
Speaking at the conference, Achyut Guragain, president of NATTA, said that CCMC has made entrepreneurs a hoax. He accused the people of CCMC of harassing tourism entrepreneurs due to various selfish interests. President Guragain warned that Singha Durbar would be cordoned off if the tourism business was not allowed to continue.
“We can take a good example of our neighbor India. Internal tourists are allowed to travel anywhere. Also, vaccinated people are allowed to travel in many places. The government should provide visas on arrival for vaccinated tourists,” he said. “CCMC has created trouble for tourism entrepreneurs. Does the coronavirus not spread during political party rallies and street movements? I urge the tourism professionals to surround roads, Singha Durbar and every ministry if they don’t allow us to run our businesses,” he added.
Similarly, Srijana Rana, president of Hotel Association Nepal (HAN), said that the government should focus on the country's economy despite the ongoing pandemic. She stressed the need for the government to allow them to run their businesses with full interest as tourism is one of the major economic activities of the country.
Former CEO of Nepal Tourism Board, Deepak Raj Joshi, said that to attract tourists, the government should provide an environment for comfortable travel for the tourists who have been vaccinated with full dose and quarantine-less travel for the ones that are COVID negative for 96 hours after their arrival in Nepal.