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Nepal explores opportunities at PATA Travel Mart

Jakarta(Indonesia), September 8, 2016: The Vice President of Indonesia Jusuf Kalla opened the PATA Travel Mart (PTM) 2016 amidst much fanfare. The anticipated annual tourism event that brings together buyers, sellers and tourism stakeholder from across the globe is held in different countries.

This year, PTM 2016 is being held from September 7 to 9 at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE), Jakarta.

The Nepal delegation of 10 private sector participants along with Nepal Tourism Board and the national flag carrier Nepal Airlines and PATA Nepal Chapter is making an impressive participation at PTM 2016 with the artfully designed Nepal pavilion being appreciated by visitors.

Suman Pandey, chairman of PATA Nepal Chapter said, “Our tourism is going through a crucial recovery stage after the earthquake and statistics show that it has recovered by 16 per cent over last year’s figures. Thus, participation at PTM 2016 is an important part of our recovery plans as it will help expedite our tourism recovery. This year at PTM 2016, Nepal has received very good visibility and so I believe that people will surely come back to Nepal for travel.”

While PATA Travel Marts are always important for the kind of exposure, networking and potential to explore new business deals, Pandey says, “PTM is a business-to-business forum where sellers get 30 pre-fixed buyer appointments set up and the opportunity to negotiate and increase business. There are also others who visit the Nepal pavilion as they are interested in selling Nepal as a tourism destination and so you have this platform to interact and enhance business. This is an opportunity to also meet and promote buyers to sell Nepal as a tourism product in their respective markets.”

Pandey also said, “It inspires all of us to know that the national carrier is walking along with the travel trade and supporting the recovery plans.”

Ram Hari Sharma, corporate director and spokesperson for Nepal Airlines, also feels that participation at PTM 2016 is important for the airline. “I think South East Asia is an important market for tourism and therefore, Nepal Airlines believes it is important to participate here and there is huge potential, especially since we have flight connections to Hong Kong, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.”

Upaul Majumdar, general manager of Soaltee Crowne Plaza, also agrees with this view. “This is the first time in Indonesia for many exhibitors from Nepal and I think this market also does not know Nepal. So, this is an opportunity to explore a new market,” he stated.

Karma Gurung, operation director of Hotel Marshyangdi, also said, “This is the first day of the business session and so I feel it was okay as this is a new market for us and a new experience. But exploring new markets is always important for a destination as we can get new business.”

CEO of NTB, Deepak Raj Joshi, was also optimistic about Nepal’s participation and its assistance to the tourism recovery.  He said, “We are very encouraged by the interest displayed here about Nepal. I also talked to Indonesia agents and the media and they know Nepal for our mountains and other attractions. What is important now is to make linkages and make it possible for them to travel to the country.”

Andrew Jones, chairperson of PATA said, “I think it is really good to see Nepal here as I have been to Nepal many times. I think this is a great showcase for Nepal’s contingent and they should be able to enhance business and network with business colleagues to promote Nepal.”

By Terence Lee