KATHMANDU, July 1: The meeting of National Tourism Council has not convened in the last one and half years much to the dismay of tourism entrepreneurs who are urging government to bring new programs to revive tourism sector.
Chaired by the Prime Minister, the council is a supreme body for institutional development of tourism in Nepal. Preparing policy guidelines, assessing tourism plans and development, resolving disputes in terms of tourism development, and forging coordination among line ministries, among others, are the main responsibility of the council. However, all these works have been affected as the council has not convened its meeting since February 14, 2016.
Tourism stakeholders have criticized the government inactiveness for tourism development. Ramkaji Kone, a former president of Nepal Association of Tours and Travel Agents (NATTA), said that the government has failed to perform its responsibility“ "The council has been formed for development and promotion of tourism sector. But the concerned government agencies and officials are not serious about holding its meetin”," he said, adding“ "The council has a significant role in make policies and regulations for the tourism secto”." Kone further added that the council should forge coordination among stakeholders, and motivate and encourage tourism entrepreneurs for tourism development“ "Unfortunately, the council itself has remained passive since past one and half year”," he added.
Political instability is one of the problems that is holding tourism industry back, according to tourism entrepreneur Bikram Pandey“ "All the national level bodies, hoteliers, tourism entrepreneurs and stakeholders are contributing for tourism development. But communication gap is slowing the pac”," he said“ "To bring productive ideas and to regulate the industry in a proper way, the council should meet frequently. It should work to create conducive environment for tourism developmen”," Pandey, who also runs Himalaya Expeditions, added.
Information officer of the Department of Tourism (DoT), Durga Dutta Dhakal, said that the council has been formed to formulate a central guideline for the overall tourism industry“ "All the tourism concerned bodies and entrepreneurs are working from their own sides, but a central guideline is needed to make this industry stronge”," he added“ "It would be easier for the private sector if the government is involved in preparation and implementation of such guideline”."
The council has representations from most of the ministries as well as from the private sector.