The 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Nepal Chapter held in Kathmandu on Wednesday unanimously elected new executive committee under the chairmanship of Sunil Sakya, the chairman of KGH group of Hotels, for the term of two years.
The AGM also endorsed the “Vision Five Million” campaign with an objective to attract five million tourists to Nepal by 2030.
PATA-Nepal believes that the campaign will play an instrumental role to initiate dialogues with all concerned individuals and organizational stakeholders in building missions from all aspects. The vision has pointed on the need of Infrastructure development, policy reforms, marketing and promotion strategies, product and human resource development in achieving the target by working in close coordination with the Government, Nepal Tourism Board and other stakeholders and private sectors.
Upon the launch of the campaign, Maheshwor Neupane, Secretary of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation showed his belief on achieving the set target. Appreciating the contribution of PATA Nepal Chapter for the promotion and development of Nepali tourism sector, he said “It is possible to achieve the goal of 5 million tourists with collaborative efforts from all the stakeholders. We should focus more on infrastructure, air service agreements, standardization of services and friendly working policy.”
He also expressed his eagerness to work together with the private sector to achieve the target. “Private sector has always worked hard to sustain the tourism of Nepal despite difficulties. I feel the need of adequate and proper infrastructure, and the government has emphasized on infrastructure development in order to be able to serve more tourist,” said Neupane adding “the construction of Gautam Buddha International Airport and Regional International Airport in Pokhara would bring better results for tourism. We should also focus more on effective promotion campaigns in our neighboring countries India and China to attract a larger number of tourists.”
Chief Executive Officer of NTB and the newly elected first vice chairman, Deepak Raj Joshi also highlighted the contemporary challenges and basic requirements to develop tourism sector. He said, ” NTB is dedicated toward the development of Nepal’s tourism. We are very hopeful that we will be able to achieve the target by the given year but we will have to focus more on connectivity enhancement and infrastructure development. We are keen on working together with private sectors in developing more prospective destinations and tourism promotion.”
The election held during the general assembly elected two vice chairman, one general secretary, one treasurer, four ex officio members, seven executive members and seven proxy members. The AGM has also endorsed the 11 members of PNC-Youth Forum (Main Committee).
The general assembly elected Deepak Raj Joshi, the chief executive officer of Nepal Tourism Board as first vice chairman, Janak Raj Kalakheti, Commercial Director of Nepal Airlines as second vice chairman, Bibhuti Chand Thakur, Founder of Himalayan Holidays Trekking as General Secretary and Shiva Prasad Dhakal, managing director of Royal Mountain Travel as treasurer.
Likewise, Rabindra Shrestha, Corporate Director of Nepal Airlines, Krishna Lamsal, Director of Department of Tourism, Subhash Jha, Deputy Director of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has been elected as Ex-officio members.
Similarly, Sanjay Bhakta Mathema, President of SDU Travel, Vinaya Shakya, Travel Consultant at Tripitak Holidays, Abdullah Tuncer Kececi, General Manager of Turkish Airlines-Kathmandu, Khem Raj Lakai, CEO of GATE College, Tika Ram Sapkota, managing director of Nepal Vacation, Tashi Gurung, Managing Director of Himalaya Kailash Travels & Tours and Abhishek Bikram Shah, the general manager of Chandragiri Hills has been elected the executive members.
The AGM also elected Samba Shah, CEO of Soaltee Sibikrim Hotels & Resorts, Pragya Sharma, Operating Manager of Adventure Outdoor Treks & Expedition, Manjani Shrestha, Marketing Chief of Summit Air, Reetal Rana, Managing Director of Mid Valley Int’l College, Ram Barakoti, Director of Nepal Social Treks & Expedition, Prabhakar Khadka, Marketing Director of Rupakot Resort and Lila Dhar Bhandari, CEO of Going Nepal as Proxy Members to its Executive Committee.
Similarly, the AGM also endorsed Niroj Karmacharya, Lomash Dhamala, Bimoj Pradhan, Prem Kumar Danuwar, Ujani Khadka, Kabita Risal, Shreeyukti Shah, Sagar Nepal, Bigyan Chapagain, Pasang Syangtang and Sarina Shrestha as members at PNC-Youth Forum (Main Committee).
Outgoing Chairman Suman Pandey, will remain in the new executive committee as Immediate Past Chairman.
After being elected as the new chairman, Sakya said “It’s an honor to be elected the chairman of PATA-Nepal Chapter. I feel a sense of profound gratitude and immense responsibility to be joining the office. It’s a great honor to be given this opportunity to safeguard the legacy of this institution. PATA Nepal will continue to work with the spirit of PATA headquarter and is committed to working closely with government and all stakeholders for the development of Nepal’s tourism.”
On his final remarks as the Chairman of the organization, Suman Pandey highlighted on the adoption of the philosophies of PATA International as working Guidelines. He said, “PATA builds your brand, business, people, network, and insights. And further adopting PATA’s Next Generation Campaign and Digital Marketing initiatives will provide wonderful opportunities to explore different fields of interest and yield greater results to our tourism industry.”
During the AGM, Dr. Yuv Raj Khatiwada, former Vice-Chairman of National Planning Commission delivered a keynote speech on the tourism and economy of Nepal. On his speech, he showed his belief on achieving the goal of the Vision Five Million campaign and stressed on the need of collaborative efforts of public and private sectors as well as the changing scenario in Nepali politics and political stability.
He also emphasized on the need of better-balanced tourists in terms of both quantity and quality. He said, “private sectors should be more encouraged and facilitated with tourism friendly policies and development of infrastructures from the government’s side. The role of the private sector should be enhanced in every aspect of promotion, expansion, and development of tourism industry.”
He further appreciated the initiatives of PATA Nepal Chapter and assured to facilitate the needful support and cooperation in future to achieve the goal.
The organization also presented its annual awards during the AGM. The PATA Personality of the Year 2017 Award was presented to Karna Sakya, a well-known figure of Nepalese Tourism and also the founder of Sakaratmak Soch as well as KGH Group of Hotel and Resorts. Similarly, the Best Student Chapter of the Year 2017 was awarded to Nepal College of Travel & Tourism Management for their great dedication and contribution towards PATA Nepal Student Chapter initiatives.