In this joint collaboration between PATA Chapters of Nepal and Bangladesh the topic of post-pandemic tourism recovery initiative to help in promoting each other's destinations through mutual tie-ups and collaboration for both inbound and outbound tourism between the two neighboring nations was discussed.
PATA Nepal Chapter, with the support of its member and partner organizations, hosted the PATA Bangladesh Delegation of 17 members; including the Dy Director and Secretary of Bangladesh Tourism Board, Chairman and Secretary-General of PATA Bangladesh, 10 Tour Operators, 2 Media and 2 Students from PATA Bangladesh Dhaka University Student Chapter.
The exchange program included the Familiarization Visit to Pokhara for Bangladeshi delegates from 17th till 19th November 2021 wherein a "Tourism Networking and Interaction Session” was organized in collaboration with Pokhara Tourism Council and NTB Pokhara on 18th November at Hotel Barahi in Pokhara, Nepal. The Tourism Networking program in Pokhara witnessed the enthusiastic participation of 70 plus tour operators and service providers from the tourism fraternity.
The Formal Function and B2B Session held on 20th November 2021 at Park Village Resort included the presentations on destinations insights and business meetings and networking between 12 Bangladeshi tour operators and 14 Nepali tour operators and tourism service providers.
The formal function kicked off with PATA Nepal Chairman, Mr. Bibhuti Chand Thakur, emphasizing on the immediate focus to embrace the promotion of "regional travel", as an action plan, for reviving tourism which would be the most appropriate and convenient for travellers and destination management organizations or service providers. He added that the nearby destinations, preferably accessible by road or short-haul flights, have more opportunities to build back their tourism. He said, "Nepal-Bangladesh being so close to each other with less than 1-hour flight, we through this collaboration expect unveiling a new way forward to strengthening our mutual inbound and outbound tourism business potentials."
Dr. Dhananjay Regmi, CEO-Nepal Tourism Board and Mr. Mohammad Saiful Hasan, the Dy. Director and Secretary of Bangladesh Tourism Board, shared their destination insights and thoughts on the prospects of tourism exchange between Nepal and Bangladesh. Ms. Ujjwala Dali, the Head of Department (Brand and Service Improvement)-Himalaya Airlines, also presented the operational plans of Himalaya Airlines to Bangladesh as well as other sectors in the region and beyond.
Addressing the formal function, Mr. Shahi Hamid (Chairman of PATA Bangladesh) said that he got fascinated with the warm hospitality of Nepal, and there are many alluring tourism products and services in Nepal to attract many Bangladeshi travellers. He said that Nepal used to welcome about 26 thousand Bangladeshis yearly before the pandemic and this can be easily penetrated with effective promotion and marketing initiatives.
The Chief Guest, Secretary of Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation- Mr Yadav Koirala, expressed his thanks to PATA Chapters of Nepal and Bangladesh for undertaking the needful and timely initiative to promote regional tourism. He recommended that Nepal needs to enhance its collaborative marketing and promotional events, organize FAM Trips, improve infrastructures, and develop extended tour packages for the tourists to Bangladesh and Nepal to flourish tourism in both countries. He further assured that the Ministry of Tourism shall facilitate the necessary cooperation and support at the government level to increase the tourism engagements between Nepal and Bangladesh.
The event was promoted by Nepal Tourism Board and Bangladesh Tourism Board; and supported by Himalaya Airlines and Buddha Air (Airlines Partners), Pokhara Tourism Council (Organizing partner), The Royal Mountain Travel (Transportation partner), and Hospitality Partners including- The Everest Hotel, KGH Group of Hotels, Aloft, Radisson, Siddhartha Hotel, and The Old Inn.
Bangladesh Tourism Board, along with PATA Bangladesh Chapter, has extended an invitation and will be hosting Nepali counterparts in Bangladesh soon to further explore exchange and expand the mutual prospects of tourism development between both countries.