Having witnessed participation from over 700 trade partners, the eight-city Nepal Sales Mission 2019 organised by Nepal Tourism Board seeks to strengthen relationship with Indian travel trade and generate higher business for both the countries.
In an endeavour to tap the lucrative Tier II, III markets and educate the trade about its key offerings, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) organised roadshows in in Lucknow, Agra, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore, Kochi, Coimbatore and Madurai. Nabin Pokharel, Manager—Tourism Marketing & Promotion, NTB said that India is its most important source market. “Nepal recorded a growth of 25.1 per cent in visitor arrivals from India in 2017, attaining a remarkable surge over the previous year. NTB has confirmed recording 200,438 visitors from India in 2017. This data excludes the number of Indian tourists who travelled to Nepal via road,” he said.
With an objective of educating the travel trade about the country, the sales mission successfully paved way for greater tourist movement from India to Nepal. In each city, keen buyers were able to conduct meetings with the Nepalese delegation, which included several private players such as Apoorva Tours & Travels, Kathmandu Holiday Tours & Travels, Fishtail Tours & Travels, Heritage Tours & Travels and Outdoor Expeditions.
On organising the roadshows in Tier-II cities, Pokharel said, “The purchasing capacity of every potential Indian traveller is increasingly on the rise. For this, we are looking to tap this market for the future growth of Nepalese tourism. We came to India to communicate to the Indian travel trade about Nepal as the right choice for every kind of traveller where tourists can experience luxury with nature-based tourism. We want to create awareness about the tourism offerings of the country among potential travellers.”
The Indian travel trade has already started realising Nepal is a ‘value for money destination’. The country is ‘home away from home’ for Indian travellers as they can travel international with domestic preparations
Pokharel hopes that more and more Indian travellers will visit Nepal in the coming days after the sales mission. “We are aggressively promoting Nepal in India and the Indian travel trade has already started realising that the country is a very good ‘value for money destination’. Nepal is ‘home away from home’ for Indian travellers. An advantage for them here is that they can travel international with domestic preparations.”
Busting the myth that Nepal is only a good destination for trekking and mountaineering activities, he says, “Nepal is an all-season destination and very well known for nature-based, pilgrimage and cultural tourism. There are certain elements in Nepal cannot be found elsewhere as it is blessed with many enriched treasures,” he further explained.
To further promote Nepal among global travellers, the government of Nepal and NTB along with all the travel trade partners of Nepal have launched the campaign ‘Visit Nepal 2020’. The government of Nepal is working rigorously to ensure a successful tourism period till 2020. The tourism board has set a target of achieving two million tourist arrivals in 2020. Currently, the country sees nearly one million visitors annually, and this is expected to double as the board continues promoting the campaign.
By 2020, the government plans to operate two new international airports – Pokhara and Lumbini – and introduce the Airbus 330-200 to provide airline services to the growing number of tourists. The government also plans to run Tribhuvan International Airport for an additional three hours from the regular 18 to ensure continued availability of service to both incoming and outgoing tourists.