KATHMANDU, July 2: Tourism experts have suggested to Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to bring its annual budget in coordination with the federal, provincial and local levels to revive the tourism sector that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the pandemic still in place and no tourist activities whatsoever, the budget of NTB is expected to shrink. Tourism entrepreneurs have suggested to the board to carry out limited activities but effectively through the budget. They said that the NTB should save itself first and then formulate the program in such a way that maximum use of limited resources is made. They stressed the need for ensuring vaccination with a focus on health security and gradually making tourism activities operational.
Speaking at a virtual interaction organized by the NTB on Thursday in the context of the NTB’s budget for the Fiscal Year 2021/22, former governor and former tourism secretary Dipendra Purush Dhakal said that the federal government should provide grants to the board to promote tourism in the current difficult situation. He said that there would be economic problems in the promotion of tourism and the tourism sector would be affected if the government did not take the time to help in times of trouble.
Similarly, Dr Bishnu Prasad Gautam said that the work done in the past should be reviewed and budget formulation, tourism promotion programs should be introduced in coordination with the three tiers of the government.
Dr Prem Sharma suggested formulating a budget to promote domestic tourism as there is less possibility of international tourists coming immediately. Tourism experts voiced that the board should prepare a recovery and revival plan of at least 2 to 3 years by including the stakeholders and move ahead with the work of tourism promotion accordingly. Other experts like Dr Alok Rai, Ramesh Upadhyay, Pashupati Neupane and Gyanendra Ratna Tuladhar said that there was an opportunity along with the COVID-induced challenges and emphasis should be laid on digital marketing while developing manpower and tourism products.