PATA International Experts to join hands with Nepal’s Tourism Fraternity to prepare a tourism recovery plan.
PATA International has taken the initiative to help and support the bounce back campaign of Nepal’s Tourism. Mr. Andrew Jones, Vice President of PATA International and Mr. Bert Van Walbeek, crisis management expert who have a long time experience on crisis management, have helped countries like Philippines, Thailand, Bali, Sri Lanka cope with natural calamities and after war effects, visited Nepal in this context. To move ahead with the recovery task, an initial preliminary interaction program was organized today on 24 May 2015 in the capital. The program was actively participated by 60 key personalities from the Public and Private Sectors of Nepal to explore and exchange ideas on tourism recovery initiatives in the aftermath of 25/04 Earth Quake.
Similarly, a brainstorming session with Mr. Bert Van Walbeek was organized on 22 May 2015 in Kathmandu. This meeting was actively participated by 25 key persons from the tourism industry where more than 250 ideas on the tourism recovery were revealed. This brainstorming was a prelude to today’s meeting and the ideas shared will be incorporated in the coming days in the recovery plan.
During today’s meeting on 24 May 2015, PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) International Vice President, Mr. Andrew Jones, suggested using the expertise of professionals, to have more promotional programs and engage celebrities. He further assured to mobilize PATA Network to help Nepal to overcome the recent crisis. PATA is also going to recommend Nepal Government, PATA Nepal Chapter and PATA Head Quarter with action oriented plan. He also shared his work of experience in the recovery tasks in the tsunami of Thailand, bombing in Bali and the recent crisis of Philippines.
Mr. Bert Van Walbeek, crisis management expert from PATA Headquarter presented various ideas on the recovery process. He strongly asked Nepali tourism stakeholders to believe in positive things and suggested not to offer discount packages but give additional value added services to the guests. He also shared the experience of Egypt, Bali, Thailand and Japan and highlighted the programs and plans that helped these destinations recover quickly.
National Planning Commission member Mr. Chandra Mani Adhikari spoke in the gathering asking stakeholders to work on to re-built damages, try to showcase the heritages which are intact and be positive towards the daily business life. He believed that the input from the PATA Experts will help us to formulate short-term, mid-term, and long-term plans of Nepal Government for tourism.
Similarly Mr. Suresh Man Shrestha, Secretary – Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation, also highlighted the importance of an experts’ view to make recovery plans. He also informed the gathering about the formation and programs being carried out by the Tourism Recovery Committee- TRC. He said that the government will follow the right suggestions made in the plan.
Mr. Basanta Mishra, PATA Secreatry , appreciated PATA Nepal Chapter’s and TRC’s work as a very right initiative taken at the right time. He believed that if things go smoothly, Nepal’s tourism can bounce back in the upcoming season starting from September 2015.
Senior tourism personality Ms. Ambika Shrestha, Mr. Bijaya Amatya, TAAN Vice President Mr. Keshav Pandey, TURGAN President Mr. Hare Ram Baral, Dr. Rajiv Dahal, Mr. Tilak Lama, Mr. Bimal Kadel , Mr. Wouter Schalken from SAMARTH highlighted their views in the program. Moderating the program, Mr. Suman Pandey, President- PATA Nepal Chapter and spokesperson of the Tourism Recovery Committee highlighted the ideas of celebrity engagement and assured to play the active role to help Nepal bounce back soon.
Mr. Ramesh Kr. Adhikari, Administrative Chief-Nepal Tourism Board / Member Secretary-TRC summed up the program and highlighted two major things to do- repairing and preparing. Repairing for now and preparing for tomorrow can be done by the stakeholders common effort and joint initiative for which the “Tourism Recovery Committee” was formed. He also highlighted the importance of the process of thinking, inking, linking for a greater impact in this context.
A recovery plan with clear guidelines and action plan is to be prepared by Mid June 2015 with the help of PATA Experts. This joint initiative of PATA International and Tourism Recovery Committee is expected to be an effective and instrumental tool to uplift Nepal’s tourism ahead.