HAN urges NAC to start direct flights to major markets
November 15, 2018 08:10 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Nov 15: Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) has underlined the need of direct flight connectivity between Nepal and major European and Asian hubs to bring more tourists to the country.
Officials of the apex body of hotels in Nepal also say that tourists interested to visit Nepal are diverting to other competing destinations due to lack of flights. “Foreigners are interested to visit Nepal. But they are not getting convenient transport services,” Amar Man Shakya, president of HAN, said. He also urged the government to facilitate the national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) to operate direct flights to major tourist generating markets.
“We have good products and services to cater to all types of tourists. Nepal has bed capacity to accommodate 2.5 million guests annually. But we are not getting tourists due to poor connectivity,” Shakya said, adding that hotels did not enjoy good occupancy even during peak tourist season this year. “Lengthy layover due to connecting flights and high flight fare is discouraging tourists from visiting Nepal.”
Shreejana Rana, first vice president of the associated, echoed Shakya and said that national flag carrier promotes Nepal as a destination to countries where it flies. “In almost all the sales
missions and tourism marts which we participate, consumers ask if we have direct flights from their country to Nepal,” she said, adding: “If we have direct flights to few countries, it will help us to get more tourists,” she said, adding that the target of welcoming 2 million tourists by 2020 or 5 million tourists by 2030 if NAC becomes successful in operating direct flights to major markets.
BANGALORE SALES MISSION
Meanwhile, HAN is organizing a sales mission to Bangalore, India, in a bid to bring more tourists to Nepal from South India. The sales mission, which is being organized in association with Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), will be organized November 17 to 20.
Speaking at a press meet in Kathmandu on Wednesday, officials of HAN said that the main objective of sales mission is to promote Nepal in India and to improve Nepal-India tourism relations. “Our focus will be on B2B meetings and country promotion activities. We will also organize our half yearly annual meeting on the sidelines of the sales mission,” added Rana.
Along with promoting our destinations and services offered by different hotels, Rana said that the sales mission will also promote 100 new destinations unveiled recently by the tourism ministry in Bangalore.