Dr. Dhananjay Regmi-Chief Executive Officer, Nepal Tourism Board had a virtual meeting on 30th April 2020 with India’s leading Travel Trade Associations’ Presidents to discuss on the possible way forward for Nepal Tourism amidst COVID-19 Crisis.
The meeting was attended by notable leaders of Indian Travel Fraternity including Ms. Jyoti Mayal- President TAAI (Travel Agents Association of India), Mr. PP Khanna-President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India, Capt. Swadesh Kumar-President, Adventure Tour Operators of India (ATOI), Mr. Pradeep Lulla-President, Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) and Mr. Mahendra Vakharia-IPP, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India. Mr. San Jeet, CEO Buzz Travel Marketing India coordinated the meeting.
Dr. Regmi briefed the Indian counterparts about the activities NTB conducted after the crisis like the rescue of the stranded tourists, economic surveys of the trade, lobbying with Nepal Government for relief packages to the Industry, formulation of new Health, Hygiene and Sanitation Protocols for the Nepalese trade, development of new destinations as hill stations in the mid hills of Nepal with entertainment factors especially targeting the Indian market with easy accessibility and so on.
The discussions brought in various insights on how Nepal should move ahead to gain back the confidence of Indian Travelers after COVID. All the speakers emphasized on the fact that the Indian travelers after crisis shall be very cautious in choosing the destinations to travel putting things like Social Distancing and the safety factor at first. Everyone also reflected on the point, that, Nepal’s success in containing the COVID with no deaths at present, could be the major Element to create Desire for the destination and will get Prominence among the Regional Destinations for Indians.
The Indian leaders stressed that both Nepali and Indian travel trade fraternity should collectively work to win back the lost confidence of the many Indian Travelers by re-building the country’s brand image as friendly and welcoming. This will include joint marketing and promotion in India in collaboration with each Association to reach their members and consumers in wide.
A proposal of creating “Nepal-India Tourism Task Force Committee” was proposed by NTB CEO which is likely to be endorsed in the upcoming meeting. NTB will continue the dialogues for recovery with the Indian Counterparts and shall start a series of Destination Briefing Webinars jointly for the members of the Association as the next step.