By Kishor Basnyat/eTravelPress
Himalayan Travel Mart (HTM) 2017 has concluded in Kathmandu on a promising note.
Commenting on the mart, renowned travel entrepreneurs and personalities have focused on integrated approach and joint efforts to develop tourism industry keeping in view the changing travel trends in hospitality industry in the world. Similarly, keynote speakers representing different international tourism organizations focused on the need to forge collective efforts and make effective use of social media to get more tourists.
The three-day mart was inaugurated by President Bidya Devi Bhandari amid a colorful ceremony at Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu. In her inaugural address, the President said that she was hopeful that the HTM, which was organized with the objective of promoting Nepal as the gateway to the Himalays, would contribute to promote Nepal’s tourism all over the world.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Ashwini Lobani, the managing director of Air India, suggested Nepali travel fraternity to focus on information technology, security and connectivity, as well as development of infrastructure to get more benefits from tourism.
At the program, tourism secretary Shankar Prasad Adhikary, who is also the chairman of the HTM Organizing Committee, made a presentation on ‘Nepal, Gateway to the Himalaya’, where he talked about Nepal’s major tourism products and services.
Similarly, Andrew Jones, the immediate past chairman of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), said the HTM was a continuation of PATA’s commitment to the development of responsible and sustainable tourism in Nepal and the region.
Likewise, President of Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, Swadesh Kumar, highlighted on different aspects of fastest adventure tourism sector and stressed the ensure safety standards.
Another attraction of the event, was a fireside chat between PATA CEO Mario Hardy and CEO of NTB Deepak Raj Joshi. The chat was moderated by BBC correspondent Yogita Limahe. The chat focused on the role of social media in tourism promotion.
In the Himalayan Tourism Conference, which was organized on the sidelines of the event, global editor of WikiTrends –US, Daniel Levine; leader of the first Singapore Everest Expedition 1998, David Lim; founder of Mountain High, Dubai, Julie Lewis; former CEO of NTB, Prachanda Man Shrestha, chairman of Stic Travel Group of India, Subash Goyal; hotelier and motivational speaker of Thailand, Bert Van Walbeek; and founder of Mountain Travel and promoter of Nepal tourism, Robin Marston, presented their papers on Himalayan tourism , mountaineering and development .
In the second session of the conference, PATA CEO, Mario Hardy; Hong Kong-based chief of destination marketing and sales at Trip Advisor, Sarah Matthews; founder and CEO of e-Tourism Frontiers of South Africa, Damian Cook; and President of Tang Dynasty Tours-China, Michael Zhou presented their papers on innovation and marketing.
Meanwhile, Himalayan Travel Mart (HTM) 2017 was organized at Park Village Resort, Budhanilkantha, on June 1. More than 100 international bloggers and journalists attended the conference. Most of them also participated in the pre-mart tours, travelling to different parts of the country. They also shared their travel experiences at the program.
Buyers of 53 countries from Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Australia attended the B2B session. There were 43 seller companies.