Nepal is known as a country of beauty and resilience when it comes to the travel and tourism industry. The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), in cooperation with the Nepal Embassy in Bangkok and in coordination with Society of Travel and Tour Operators Nepal (SOTTO-Nepal), has organised a Nepal Sales Mission here in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on June 12, 2019 to promote Nepal as a “Fountain of Buddhism” as well as a premier holiday destination for the Cambodian market.
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The Sales Mission is a great platform for the participating countries and travel professionals in enhancing their potentials in hospitality industry and to exhibit Nepali products for the Cambodian market to see. Nepal aims to establish strong connection with the local travel trade promoting spiritual tourism, cultural tourism and natural tourism, and inspire the outbound market to travel to Nepal. Likewise it is also a good opportunity for the Nepali travel agencies to explore business opportunities and networks with the local Cambodian tour operators.
Sales Mission in Cambodia will be helpful for promoting Nepal as a premier holiday destination and attracting more tourists for the Visit Nepal Year 2020. There were around 3,790 Cambodians who visited Nepal in 2018.
Mdm Chhay Sivlinh, president of CATA, said, the number of outbound tourists from Cambodia visiting Nepal is increasing slowly. Thus, it is essential for the tourism industry of Nepal to understand and create attractive promotional packages that fit the Cambodian market. She hoped this B2B from that event, they could further link both countries and play a major role in providing great opportunities with a closer cooperation, better understanding, and thus promoting mutual-cooperation between Nepal and Cambodia.
His Excellency Mr Ganshayam Uppadhyaya, said, there are many Buddhist heritage sites in Nepal; but Lumbini and Kathmandu are the two most popular Buddhist destinations. Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha and a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, which has gained worldwide fame as the center of universal peace and brotherhood, carries immense significance as a tourism destination.
Nepal is known for its natural and cultural beauty. It is one of the greatest spots for adventure sports. Snow-capped and majestic mountains, topographical features, mighty and rippling rivers, dense tropical forests, scenic waterfalls, tranquil lakes, beautiful landscapes and different hill stations of Nepal are the bases for adventurous activities. Likewise, there are different cultural heritage sites carrying immense spiritual and historical significance. The ongoing construction of Gautam Buddha International Airport will soon enable Buddhist travelers to take direct flights to Lumbini. It will be completed in 2020.
There are three major airlines connecting Cambodia via Bangkok and Kathmandu to and fro – Thai Airways, Thai Lion and Nepal Airlines, through which tourists from Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand visit Nepal. However, it is necessary to increase flight connectivity to multiple countries to increase the flow of tourists in Nepal.
As Nepal celebrates Visit Nepal Year 2020 with the theme of ‘Lifetime Experiences’ along with different objectives like inclusiveness of women in tourism industry, developing tourism infrastructure, improving the aviation and flight safety/ connectivity and increasing new investment opportunities, it has become a great festival for all concerned people and authorities to work hand in hand towards making Nepal as a great destination for tourists from Cambodia and from the rest of the world.
Mr Madhusudan, president of SOTTO Nepal, said that Sotto has more than 350 members in its organisation and has dedicated itself to work towards the welfare of the tourism fraternity and work for the overall development and promotion of Nepal’s tourism industry.
SOTTO-Nepal has conducted a number of promotional activities outside and within the country since its establishment in its single endeavor and in joint initiatives with other private and public sector organizations.
Mr Anil Lama, from Sotto Nepal and National Program Coordinator of VNY 2020, who led the Nepal mission last year, said that “it is a known fact that Cambodia is a potential market for Nepalese tourism and it has stood as up growing country in terms of tourist arrivals in Nepal. Among the total figure of tourist arrival in Nepal in the past years, the arrival from these countries is satisfactory at the moment. So, we believe to make more promotion activities to again gain the number of arrivals from these countries”.
His Excellency Mr Surya Thapa, the Tourism Incharge of Central Committee, said, “The main motive of this programme is to promote Nepal as a tourism destination. We are highly interested to communicate and interact with local tour operators through the Tourism Association, and to exchange the culture and business by both association, and to interact with government officials and media for their vision and mission for tourism industries”.
Mr Shah and Mr Suman, managers from Nepal Tourism Board said that they feel that Cambodia is a very vibrant country and that they are so happy to meet with the Cambodian travel industry professionals and looking forward to promote tourism between Nepal and Cambodia actively.
Dr Mohan Gunti, Tourism Advisor based in Cambodia and Special Rep of NSM 2019, quoted that this mission is very timely and important for the growth of tourism between Cambodia and Nepal. He also said that both Nepal and Cambodia have enormous potentials for Heritage and Natural Tourism. The B2B event was a great platform for knowing the market and understanding the new tourists thus creating attractive tour packages for both Cambodian and Nepalese markets. He also said this would help foster and strengthen cooperation between Cambodia and Nepal. The government and tourism department of Nepal authoritatively reported that Nepal will take the year 2020 as Visit Nepal 2020, a year committed to tourism industry of Nepal, with a vision of making a reasonable brand picture of Nepal as travel and vacationer destination, backing up the tourism foundations of Nepal. It is also seen as a way to enhance the growth of the national tourism industry, as well as local tourism.
“Now Cambodia is emerging as a new destination, not only for international tourists but also domestically. It is growing because of some added new attractions and also awareness among the local citizens. Now Cambodians are travelling overseas and I am sure that Nepal could also be one of the attractive heritage and natural tourism destination for Cambodians,” said Mdm Chhay Sivlinh.