KATHMANDU, Aug 31: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai has asked Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to gear up preparation to develop necessary infrastructures in and around Kathmandu Valley to accommodate at least 500,000 tourists.
In a meeting with the directors of NTB on Monday, Minister Bhattarai directed the organization to conduct a feasibility study of the development of tourism infrastructures such as footpaths, cycling and trail tourism to accommodate 500,000 tourists in and around Kathmandu Valley on public holidays. He also directed NTB officials to form a branch of the NTB in coordination with the provincial government at the provincial level.
Addressing the meeting, Minister Bhattarai also urged the NTB to prepare digital content in seven languages including Nepali, Hindi, Chinese, Aabic, Portuguese and Spanish to promote Nepal’s tourism products. While referring to the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, he also directed to exercise austerity measures by cutting unnecessary expenses including the travel expenses of NTB’s officials both in domestic and international destinations.
On the occasion, Minister Bhattarai urged the NTB officials to prepare a package of virtual tours during the COVID-19 pandemic and instructed them to prepare publicity materials of virtual tours of various tourist destinations including world heritage sites, mountains, wetlands, museums and parks.
While directing NTB to publish and disseminate current research, planning reports and documentaries on the tourism sector, Minister Bhattarai also directed the NTB to start psychosocial counseling service to prevent the exit trend seen amongst tourism entrepreneurs and workers due to COVID-19.
Bhattarai also urged NTB to develop and expand the network and partnership with tourism organizations at home and abroad by making the works of tourism desks in different countries effective. Stating that COVID-19 has had the biggest impact on the tourism sector, he also urged the NTB officials to make necessary plans for what can be done immediately for the upliftment of the tourism sector in the post-COVID-19 scenario.