Agitating travel trade entrepreneurs have begun a six-day relay hunger strike on the premises of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to pile pressure on the government to address their demands.
Organizing a press meet in Kathmandu on Thursday, Joint Tourism Coordination Committee (JTCC) unveiled second phase of protest programs.
As per the protest program, 25 representatives of different travel trade associations will participate in 12-hour hunger strike for the next six days. DB Limbu, president of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA); Ram Sharan Thapaliya, president of Thamel Tourism Development Committee (TTDC), Chandra Dahal, president of Nepal Association of Rafting Agents (NARA); Karna Lama, president of Nepal Canyoning Association (NCA); Tilak Thapa Magar of Magar Tourism Society, Nilhari Bastola of Trekking Agnecies Association of Nepal (TAAN); Bimal Naharki of Association of Kailash Tours Operators (AKTON) are participating in the relay hunger strike on the first day.
Addressing the program, Ramesh Dhamala, coordinator of JTCC and president of TAAN, said they would announce strong protest programs if their demands are not addressed in the next six days. “We met Prime Minister Sushil Koirala today and apprised him of our demands. He is positive toward our demand,” Dhamala said, adding, “We are always ready to sit for talks; we would withdraw our protest once our demands are addressed.”
JTCC has demanded removal of Subash Nirola from the post of acting CEO of NTB to pave the way for early appointment of new CEO, independent audit of expenditures made by NTB over the past five years, and institutional representation of private sector in the board of NTB, among others.
As many as 35 travel trade associations and tourism related bodies from across the country are under the umbrella of JTCC.