Himalayan Travel Mart prep nears completion

May 12, 2017

The Kathmandu Post, 12th May 2017, Kathmandu

Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) Nepal Chapter on Thursday said that the preparation of the Himalayan Travel Mart 2017 was almost complete.

The four-day event starting in Kathmandu from June 1, aims at redefining adventure tourism and establishing Nepal as gateway to the Himalayas. It will bring together foreign buyers and tourism professionals from various tourist generating countries. It said the mart will bring more than 60 international buyers and over 50 domestic sellers together in a single platform. Pata will hold International Bloggers and Media Conference-the first of its kind in the country-on June 1. “There will be participation of more than 100 media personnel and bloggers to promote Nepal,” said Pata Nepal President Suman Pandey. 

“The objective of the events is to make Nepal an event-friendly destination and reposition Nepal in the map of global tourism.” The long-planned Travel Mart had been in limbo amid controversy surrounding Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). 

The first Himalayan International Travel Mart was organised by Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Natta) in 2005, attracting more than 200 tour operators from Southeast Asian countries. Nepal’s tourism experienced a dramatic turnaround last year after being hit by the twin disasters of a devastating earthquake and crippling trade embargo in 2015.

Foreign tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 39.71 percent to 753,002 in 2016, boosted by robust visitor growth from India, China, the US, the UK and Sri Lanka, according to the statistics of the Department of Immigration. 

However, tourism numbers in 2016 fell 4.69 percent from 2014 when the country welcomed 790,118 foreign visitors. The tourism boom is expected to continue in 2017 and remains a major growth driver for the economy even as the industry sees low overseas promotional activities.