Kathmandu, September 1, 2016: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Jeevan Bahadur Shahi has said that the development of tourism industry in Nepal is possible only with the increase in the number of aircrafts and air-traffic in Nepal.
Speaking at a programme organized in the capital today, Shahi shared his vision to take the sector ahead in his tenure as the minister.
â€œWe need toÂ spread words that air-traffic in Nepal is safe, despite some minor plane-crashes, and hence contribute to remove Nepali airlines from the blacklist by the EU,â€ said the minister. â€œOnly then will the number of tourists visiting Nepal would increase.â€
He further said that the International flights should be increased by Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), and it be made the main money earning business in the sector, whereas, the domestic flights should be used more as a service-sector. He also pointed out the need to have a provision of regular flights to Humla, Kalikot, Khotang and other similar places as many important places in Nepal are in the shadows because of the lack of transportation access to these places.
â€œWe need to have at least 8-10 Twin Otters and 5-6 Boeing planes. The industry wonâ€™t go ahead without the presence of more aircrafts,â€ he said.
Speaking in the programme, he also said that a transaction of more than 50 billion is carried out by International Airlines, in Nepal. â€œWe can tap that market, if we add more aircrafts soon,â€ he said.
â€œPrior to 1990, Nepal Airlines itself had flights to London, Shanghai, Paris and many other destinations. But, as of now, the market for NAC has shrunk. If we want, we can have rapid growth in the sector,â€ he further added.
He also mentioned about the initiatives undertaken by him, i.e. cleanliness monitoring in Tribhuwan International Airport, and promised a drastic change in the cleanliness of the airport within a week.
Also talking about the reconstruction of the heritages destructed in the earthquake last year, he expressed dissatisfaction about the progress of the work, as it is still lost in paperwork, but assured that it will take a shape very soon. He also sharedÂ that they are also coming up with a website to show the progress of earthquake reconstructions of such heritage sites so far, making all Nepalese updated about the same.
Photo Courtesy: Bhusan Dahal/Kantipur
By Basanta Kumar Dhakal