Aircraft procurement plan ready, says tourism secy

The government has finalized a workplan for procurement of wide-body aircraft for Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) to resume flights on long haul sectors.

Speaking at the 52th annual general meeting (AGM) of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) organized in Kathmandu on Sunday, Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya secretary of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), said that his ministry has already prepared final procurement and business plan and will forward it to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) very soon.
Thapaliya, who is also the chairman of the national flag carrier, said that the ministry was also coming up with two-year work plan for strengthening NAC within 10 days. “We are in the process of making a detailed work plan for each month for the next two year with an objective to provide effective services,” Thaplaiya said.

The ministry has been working to acquire at least two wide-body aircraft and two narrow-body aircraft for international flights, and four Twin Otters for domestic operation, according to Thapaliya.

He also said that the ministry would initiate campaign to improve seven aspects — service and facilities, security, information and communications, cleanliness, organizational management, coordination, and increasing tourist numbers and their length of stay – for development and promotion of tourism.

Similarly, DB Limbu, president of NATTA, urged the government to make necessary arrangement for providing 5 percent of Tourist Service Fee (TSF) collected from foreign tourists to NATTA for tourism development and promotion.

At present, NTB has been collecting TSF of Rs 1,000 from tourists departing from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

Limbu also said the government should put construction of tourist bus terminal in priority. He also urged the government to introduce penalty system for travel and tour agents which do not renew their businesses in time. “Cancellation of registration by Department of Tourism (DoT) alone does not prevent tour and travel agencies from continuing their operation as they are also registered with other government agencies,” he added.

Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), said NTB was working to attract more Chinese tourists to Nepal. “We are devising marketing strategies accordingly,” he added.

Source: MyRepublica