The 2nd Himalayan Travel Mart 2018 (HTM 2018) kicked off in the capital on 1st of June to 3rd of June, 2018.
The HTM, hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Civil Aviation, was organised by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) in coordination with national and international tourism associations.
The HTM 2018 ended with several sessions, including an HTM conference, International Travel Bloggers and Media Conference, and a Buyers and Sellers Meet.
Inaugurating the HTM conference entitled ‘The Sustainable Road to Five Million Visitors’ today as a part of HTM 2018, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said that the government had given high priority to the tourism sector for achieving the goal of economic prosperity in the country.
He said that the government would focus on infrastructure development and promotion in order to meet the target of bringing 2 million tourists by 2020 and 5 million tourists by 2030.
Gyawali stressed on the neighbouring markets of China and India to meet the tourist arrival targets.
Deepak Raj Joshi, Chief Executive Officer of NTB, underlined the need for continuing the unity and togetherness of tourism stakeholders, which has been proven as an instrumental means to overcome any kind of problem in the tourism sector.
The togetherness and cooperation will help achieve high economic growth and prosperity through tourism, he said.
Dr Marcus Lee, Chairman of International China Investment Forum (ICIF), said that Nepal could meet the target of bringing 2 million international tourists by 2020 and 5 million by 2030 if it focused on promoting the Chinese and Indian markets.
He suggested intensifying promotional activities in the new and existing cities of China through various means, including digital marketing and road shows to attract more Chinese tourists.
“So far only 10 per cent Chinese have passports, from which China has been the top outbound tourist generating country. Imagine the prospect of the Chinese outbound market from the additional 90 per cent population in the future,” he said.
He suggested on focusing high yield tourists rather than focusing on numbers only.
As per the HTM 2017 schedule, International Travel Bloggers and Media Conference (ITBMC) will be held on June 2, Buyers and Sellers Meet also on June 2.
Earlier, Pre-Mart FAM Trips for ITBMC delegates and Hosted Buyers was organised form May 22 to 30.
The theme of the HTM Conference is ‘The sustainable Road to 5 Million Visitors’ which will witness the world-class high-valued speakers/industry thought leaders, the organisers said.
Around 160 international delegates from 37 countries are joining the HTM 2018. Altogether, 54 buyers from 26 countries, 54 sellers from seven countries and 17 speakers are participating in the HTM 2018.