Though the government postpone the International Sagarmatha Day celebrations for this year, private sector celebrated the day as part of their ongoing protest against Nepal Tourism Day (NTB).
Joint Tourism Coordination Committee (JTCC), a group of more than three dozen travel trade associations, took out a rally on May 29 to celebrate 7th International Sagarmatha Day, 36th Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) Day and 7th Republic Day. The rally started from Thamel and culminated into a program in the premises of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).
Participants of the rally put garlands on the statues of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary – the first mountaineers to reach the summit of Mt Everest. Kancha Sherpa, the last living member of the British Everest Expedition, which put Sherpa and Hillary on the summit of Mt Everest, was present on the occasion.
Addressing the program, JTCC Coordinator Ramesh Dhamala said they decided to celebrate the day despite the government decision to postpone the celebration as celebration of Int’l Sagarmatha Day on other day won’t have any meaning.
Suman Pandey, the president of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal, said that the private sector would not stop protesting until the government fulfilled their demands.
JTCC has been organizing a series of protest programs against NTB, with demands like the removal of Subash Nirola from the post of acting CEO of NTB to pave the way for early appointment of a new CEO, an independent audit of expenditures made by NTB over the past five years, and institutional representation of the private sector in the board of NTB, among others.
Dhamala also reiterated that they would enforce banda in major tourism destinations on Sunday and shut down all tourism-related services for three days starting Monday.
JTCC said it would enforce bandas in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan — the three major tourist destinations in the country — on Sunday, and halt all tourism-related services like hotel-booking, and airline and tourist bus ticketing. JTCC said it would not operate tours, and trekking and rafting trips as well from Monday to Wednesday.
At the program, Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) handed over checks for Rs 700,000 to Seven Summits Women Team and Rs 600,000 to Nepali Women K2 Expedition.