B2B session for tourism between Bangladesh, Nepal begins

PATA Nepal Chapter hosts BD counterparts for tourism promotion

-    A Monitor Desk Report  Date: 19 November, 2021
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Shahid Hamid, President of PATA Bangladesh Chapter, Suresh Sing Budal, CEO of PATA Nepal Chapter and other members of both chapters at a B2B session in Pokhra, Nepal - Photo: Monitor

Dhaka: Nepal’s tourism is starting to rebound in post pandemic with utmost Covid-19 precautions and plentiful attractive tourism products to offer. Hence, Nepal’s tour operators presented their tourism revival preparations to the Bangladeshi counterparts at a B2B views exchange session between Pacific Asia Travel Association Nepal and Bangladesh Chapters held at Hotel Barahi in the popular tourism destination Pokhara of Nepal on November 18.

The move follows PATA Nepal Chapter’s efforts of organising a five-day long grand tourism promotion event throughout Nepal in Pokhara and the capital Kathmandu from November 16-21. For this purpose, PATA Nepal Chapter is hosting the association’s Bangladeshi counterpart and several tour operators of Bangladesh in Nepal for various networking sessions.

At the first view exchange session organised by Nepal Tourism Council, promoted by Nepal Tourism Board and coordinated by PATA Nepal Chapter while Himalaya Airlines was the airline partner, the tourism stakeholders of both countries discussed how they could flourish tourism with coordinated efforts.

Members of PATA Nepal and Bangladesh Chapters exchanging views at the B2B session in Pokhra - Photo: Monitor 

Nepal, home of breathtaking mountains, lakes, adventure and entertainment, boasting the beauties of the Himalayas, Pokhara, Kathmandu and many other destinations, used to welcome about 26 thousand Bangladeshis yearly before the pandemic, making them the second largest nationality to visit Nepal, said Shahid Hamid, President of PATA Bangladesh Chapter in his speech at the event.

Shahid Hamid, President of PATA Bangladesh Chapter addressing the B2B session - Photo: Monitor

Long-haul travel to North America, Europe and Oceania will occur less in post-pandemic. It will take time to rebound. In the meantime, regional tourism between SAARC and nearby countries can be the best opportunity to keep the business running, claimed Shahid Hamid, adding, that is the purpose of this tourism promotional event between Bangladesh and Nepal.

Moreover, in the new normal, Bangladesh has immense potential to be a “new” destination for Nepalese to explore and love, due to its unique attractions, from beaches to hills to mangrove forest, across Sundarbans, Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati, Bandarban and many other destinations, hoped the PATA Bangladesh Chapter President.

The best thing about Nepal is it offers tourism 12 months a year – mountaineering, cultural, leisure etc. This will allow Bangladeshi travellers to enjoy various kinds of tourism in their stay in Nepal, said Ram Chandra Sharma, Member of Pokhara Tourism Council.

However, in 2020, due to the pandemic, the number of Bangladeshi travellers visiting Nepal came down to only four thousand. But now, in the post pandemic era, Nepal can get even more than the 26 thousand Bangladeshi travellers it welcomed till 2019, expressed Kashi Raj Bhandari, Chief of Nepal Tourism Board Pokhra.

Kashi Raj Bhandari, Chief of Nepal Tourism Board speaking at the event - Photo: Monitor

But to ensure this growth, we need more flights between the two counties and more promotional activities, suggested Bhandari.

Since Bangladesh is a warmer country, Nepal’s cold weather can be a great attraction for Bangladeshis along with its mountains, lakes, trekking, hiking activities, cable car, paragliding, boating, rafting, kayaking, world class properties, casinos, shopping malls and the best hospitality of the people, noted Bhandari.

Nepalese and Bangladeshi tour operators discussing with each other about bilateral tourism growth of Nepal and Bangladesh at the B2B session - Photo: Monitor

He further addressed, Bangladesh is at sea level while Nepal has the highest point on earth. This sharp contrast and difference between the two countries will surely attract travellers of both countries to visit each other to have enjoyable and meaningful experiences.

For this purpose, Bangladesh should offer attractive packages to the mangrove forest Sundarbans and the world’s longest sea beach Cox’s Bazar, recommended Bhandari, concluding with the fact that Bangladesh has one of the largest garments industry, hence, shopping can be another great tourism product of Bangladesh to the Nepalese people.

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