His Excellency Dr. Sergey Vasilievich Velichkin, The Russian Ambassador to Nepal graced the event and it was attended by 100 participants from the travel and trade fraternity, tourism colleges and media houses. Presidents and General Secretaries from all major Tourism Associations were present and a few also shared their thoughts and knowledge on the Russian Market. Participants were given the opportunity to put forward their query and feedback to the team organizing the interaction program at the end of the event which gave the feeling of inclusion and was a two way interaction program appreciated by all.
Mr. Suman Pandey- Chairman PATA Nepal Chapter gave an insight on PATA as an international association of Tourism with Private- Public partnership approach and acting as a Catalyst of the responsible development of Tourism in Asia and the Pacific Region. Today, PATA has 42 chapters active in the world that includes memberships from governments, tourism boards, authorities, airlines, hospitality, travel industry, media and others. PATA builds Business for members, PATA helps in building your Brand, PATA helps building People through trainings, PATA brings Network of industry people to your benefit and PATA provides valuable Insights, forecasts and analysis to help members take better business decisions. PATA involves in sales missions, trade shows, familiarization trips, new market exploration. He stated that “as of my experience with Russian People, I remember that they are the strongest climbers. I had the privilege to work with Russian climbers in1988 when they traversed all four peaks of Mt. Kanchenjunga with the team of 40 climbers making almost 43 successful summit attempts. After this, Russian climbers haven’t left any unclimbed or extra challenging ridge or face of high mountains in the Himalayas”.
Mr. Ang Chhiring Sherpa, President of Nepal Mountaineering Association- NMA spoke further that the Russian veteran mountaineers are very enthusiastic since the beginning. Nepal has opened its peaks to westerners in 1949 and the most popular activity has always been mountaineering. Since, the biggest historical event on 4th May 1982 with 11 Russian people climbing Mt. Everest, the desire to climb Everest grew even more and lured more westerners. It is a dream of every mountaineer to scale the highest mountain in the world. Mr. Sherpa expressed that 10,200 meters long exotic drama exists in Nepal which includes 16 peaks above 8,000 meters. Mt. Everest has put Nepal as the 12th ultimate desired destinations in the world.
Mr Ashok Pokharel, President of Nepal Association of Tour Operators-NATO put forward his views as a country with 140 million people; Russia is the 9th largest market in the market and is the top 5 performers worldwide anticipated till 2017. As per Mr. Pokharel, from January to August 2013 a drop of 6 percent in Russian tourist was recorded in Nepal. So, he raised a general question that we need to find out if we are the suitable market for Russia or are we catering to the right people. Russians are good consumers in terms of food, drinks and shopping and above all a safe market to approach making them a high yield market.
Mr Aditya Baral, Senior Director of Nepal Tourism Board- NTB congratulated the PATA Nepal Chapter team for this interaction program wherein he thanked the active commitment to lead the Nepal team to MITT 2014 this year as NTB was looking at cancelling the event from their end. He further urged the stake holders to come forward with logic proposals targeting markets that are less explored or upcoming markets that Nepal can look at and he will do all he can to provide the necessary support from NTB. Russia he said, has immense prospects, but we have been losing market due to no direct flights connecting the two countries.
His Excellency Dr. Sergey Vasilievich Velichkin, Russian Ambassador to Nepal assured that he is very keen in partnering for promoting tourism in Russia. It is about the friendship and trust and ties and values in this crucial time. He further stated that Russia takes Nepal as an important partner. His Excellency stated that a successful promotion has already been made in marketing Nepal as a tourism destination but we need to take further more than that. It needs more effort than now to bring the visible changes. As for Aeroflot, he had made a lot of effort to resume the flight but because of the low business possibility he could not succeed.
His Excellency gave an example of Egypt and Turkey on how these countries took a u turn on increasing number of tourists in their country by aggressive marketing and Nepal too should do the same. His Excellency praised PATA Nepal Chapter on taking the lead for MITT2014 and gave his word on getting good buyers to the stall from Russian Chamber of Trade and Industry.