NTB to spend $1m on promotional campaign

April 04, 2017

The Kathmandu Post, 4th April 2017, Kathmandu

The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on Monday announced the launch of its biggest media campaign which will be conducted in partnership with three reputed agencies having a wide global outreach in a bid to boost tourist arrivals.

The country’s tourism promotional body will be spending $1 million to broadcast and disseminate information about Nepal to global audiences through two popular media outlets, Reuters and BBC World, and travel site TripAdvisor.

This marks the tourism promotional body’s first ever consumer media campaign aimed at luring foreign visitors involving three agencies simultaneously.

Reuters is an international news agency headquartered in London, England. BBC World is the BBC’s international news and current affairs television channel with an estimated 76 million viewers weekly.

TripAdvisor is an American travel website company providing reviews of travel-related content having 390 million unique visitors per month.

The destination Nepal promotional partnership with these three reputed agencies is aimed at disseminating and promoting Nepal through three means—print, broadcast and online,” said Deepak Raj Joshi, chief executive officer of the NTB.

BBC World will broadcast a 30-second video clip on destination Nepal in Europe, Asia and Asia Pacific. The NTB has signed a $680,000 contract for six months ending September this year.

Likewise, the NTB has signed a one-year deal worth $250,000 with TripAdvisor and a three-month deal worth $75,000 with Reuters. “The contract with the agencies can be extended based on impact,” Joshi said.

Vishal Bhatnagar, sales director-South Asia BBC Worldwide, said that the BBC had adopted an audience targeting strategy to reach targeted audiences. The BBC is the oldest national broadcasting service broadcasting worldwide in over 30 languages.  “We are confident of delivering the message across the world.” Saurjyesh Nath Bhaduri, director, Integral Media (Reuters), said that the NTB would provide news events and activities to Reuters for coverage under the agreement. “It’s critical that Nepal is presented in a positive way.” 

Tourism Secretary Shankar Prasad Adhikari said that the new campaign would have a significant impact on Nepal’s tourism. “We all know that Nepal has not developed as expected despite its huge potential. The current problem is related to airport infrastructure and air connectivity,” he said. Besides airport infrastructure, we need a development and makeover of our destinations and products, he added.

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, 2016 arrivals are still 4.69 percent down from 2014 when the country welcomed 790,118 foreign visitors. The tourism boom is expected to continue in 2017 and remain a major growth driver for the economy even as the industry sees low overseas promotional activities, according to travel trade entrepreneurs.