KATHMANDU, Aug 6: Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) has requested the government to operate Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) round the clock for bringing more tourists to the country.
Submitting a memorandum to newly-elected Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai at the ministry on Monday, NATTA also requested the minister to address air congestion issue at the country's only international airport.
NATTA has also drawn the attention of the minister toward lack of sufficient parking space for aircraft at TIA. Similarly, it called upon the tourism ministry to immediately address issues related to restrooms at the airport. "Tourists get first impression about Nepal at the airport. So, it is important that tourists get hassles-free services at the airport," NATAA said in the memorandum.
A delegation of NATTA led by President CN Pandey also urged the minister to begin construction of second international airport in Nijgadh of Bara, and expedite remaining works of under-construction Pokhara International Airport and Bhairawaha International Airport. It also urged the minister to upgrade Biratnagar and Dhangadhi airports.
The NATTA delegation also said that the national flag carrier, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), should be strong and efficient to support Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign. "The government should make its management more efficient so that it can operate flights far and wide. NAC needs to have at least four wide-body and six narrow-body aircraft to support the tourism industry of the country," it added.
It also requested Minister Bhattarai to do the needful for removing Nepali airlines from the European Union (EU) blacklist and creating environment for the national flag carrier to operate flights to major source markets like China, South Korea and the US.
Other demands raised by NATTA include VAT refund for petroleum products consumed by tourist vehicles, arrangement of terminal for tourist buses, introduction of e-visa, and express counter at the immigration of TIA for first class and business class passengers as well as Commercially Important Persons.