Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation Bhanubhakta Dhakal has said he would take initiatives to solve the problems facing the tourism sector at the earliest. Minister Dhakal said at a discussion program organized by Pokhara Tourism Council on tourism and contemporary issues.
He however said other sectors were shadowed as the government engrossed in saving people's lives in the wake of Covid-19 which affected all sectors in the country. "Every sector has problems. As the government focused on saving people's lives, other sectors got less priority. It does not mean government neglected other sectors," Minister Dhakal reminded, adding that he would identify the problems on reopening the Ratna Temple in Pokhara and take the proper measures.
Suggestions from stakeholders and experts in the tourism sector would be considered and a proper plan forwarded to solve the problems, the Minister said, adding, "I'm the Minister of the Cabinet which has announced the fresh election. But the genuine issues in this sector will be addressed." He argued that the government has worked by ensuring good governance and transparency.
Minister Dhakal stressed that the election would be held on the stipulated date and it has no alternative either.
On the occasion, Pokhara Tourism Council Gopi Bahadur Bhattarai expressed worry that tourism sector witnessed a 100 per cent decline. The tourism entrepreneurs lost much also because the monetary policy government brought was not implemented. Although tourism saw severe effects, the entrepreneurs have not been able to access the business operation fund of Rs 50 billion. Bhattarai further shared the case that many entrepreneurs were leaving this sector after they lost much investment and did not get anything as support from the government side.
He suggested a tourism-friendly policy to attract foreign tourists and create an atmosphere favourable to visit new places freely.
Similarly, noted tourism entrepreneur Ganesh Bhattarai said this sector faced huge loss as the government failed to make proper analyses of Covid-19 impact on tourism.
A former member of the Nepal Tourism Board Basu Tripathi urged the government to change the entry fee as 'multiple' to the foreign nationals visiting the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). The fee can be used for multiple entries so that tourists would not feel hassled.
According to the central Chairman of Hotel Association Bharat Purajuli, the environment should be alluring to the foreign tourists by ensuring adequate security at International Airport and Nepal-India border.