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Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Kripasur Sherpa has said that efforts should be made to bring tourism, which suffered severe setback due to the devastating earthquake of April 25, back on track from the autumn season which begins in September.

Inaugurating an interaction on ‘Role of Stakeholders and Media in Tourism Recovery’ organized in Kathmandu on Wednesday by IMAGE NEPAL – bi-monthly international travel magazine to celebrate its 27th anniversary, Sherpa said both the government, private sector and mass media should work in tandem for early tourism recovery. “Media has a greater role to play in tourism recovery as we need to disseminate positive messages about Nepal to our major markets,” he added.

Similarly, Tourism Secretary Suresh Man Shrestha said the government’s policy and programs for 2015/16 unveiled on Wednesday has prioritized tourism sector. “The focus of the new policy and programs is infrastructure development,” he said, adding that the ministry has been focusing on organizing fam trips of media and celebrity to Nepal.

On the occasion, Minister Sherpa honored tourism entrepreneurs Ambica Shrestha, Tek Chandra Pokharel, Ang Tshering Sherpa, Chhabi Phuyal, Rajan Simkhada and Kami Sherpa as well as the magazine’s long serving employees Kishor Man Singh Basnyat and Bishnu Bhattarai.

Speaking at the program, Hari Raj Joshi, editor of IMAGE NEPAL, said the tourism industry should treat tourism-based media as their partners and extend necessary support and cooperation accordingly.

Chief Administrator of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Ramesh Kumar Adhikari suggested tourism entrepreneurs to devise innovative programs to engage foreign tourists. Similarly, Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) President Ramesh Prasad Dhamala said the ministry should devise programs and policies for the tourism industry in consultation with travel trade associations. “It would be unfortunate for the tourism industry if leading travel trade associations are overlooked,” he added.

Young entrepreneur Rajan Simkhada said the government should put focus on infrastructure development to bring more tourists. “We have comparative advantage over our neighbors in terms of tourism. We have raw materials (for tourism) throughout the country, we only need to exploit our potentials,” he added.

Similarly, Ang Tshering Sherpa of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) said the government should focus on promotion of adventure tourism. DB Limbu, coordinator of Joint Tourism Coordination Committee, and Devi Prasad Pant, president of Journalists Association for Tourism-Nepal also spoke on the occasion.

Image Nepal Publications group currently publishes four publications —  IMAGE Nepal bi-monthly, TOURISM NEWS DIGEST – fortnightly, TND Yellow Pages and Kathmandu City Map.

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