Monopoly in Nepali tourism
- शंकर भट्टराई
- २०७७ आश्विन २४ गते ०८:४४ बजे प्रकाशित
Kathmandu : More than two dozens of tourism organizations and associations are in existence in Nepali tourism sector.Despite a number of tourism organizations and associations, they have less than a size of hair in policymaking level.The government and only some monetarily powerful organizations have sole rights to take decision on framing national tourism policy.The rest of the organizations can rarely have information regarding their actions and events.It clearly reflects Nepal’s tourism is in the hands of a limited number of individual or stakeholders.
It is not possible to cite all the events how Nepali tourism industry is monopoly market. Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), the major patron organization invites only some executive heads of specific organizations especially the heads of the owners but neglects the workers. What they do,nobody knows but they make a readymade ritual paper and make the rest to give a big round of applause as if the leaders cursed an opponent party and cadres clapped without analyzing the seriousness that might create in future.Here, the article tries to justify with the latest events that occurred some days back.
On 27 September, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) organized a program to mark 41st World Tourism Day.Only few tourism industry entrepreneurs attained the program.Everyone must hats off the organization for a step to protect and strictly follow the terms and condition of the pandemic situation.The organizer announced the plan but not the minister of culture, tourism and civil aviation, Mr. Yogesh Bhattarai.They declared 4s (safety, security, sanity and survive) strategy for the revival of Nepali tourism after October 17.It’s not bad to declare the strategy but it is a question of chain of command.The presences of minister and patron organization of tourism industry seem in fog while a formal industry declares its plan and ask minister to implement them. It would be appropriate if the same strategies were formally discussed among all the existing national level tourism industry and approved by the minister and organizer recited.The greatest irony lies when the rich entrepreneurs introduced their plan before minister regarding Tourism Recovery Task Force (TRTF) – Nepal, was declared by just a formal tourism organization ignoring all other stakeholders. Speaking in the program, the organizer states that tourism sector contribute 6.7% in the total GDP, 30.8% export and 1.1 million direct and indirect employment by following the statistics provided by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Isn’t it shame to bring and recite the data of international organization? Are our bureaucracy and national bureau of statistics such unreliable that we need to borrow data from international organizations or agencies? Last but most cabal point, the organizer purposed was to hire foreign expertise to promote Nepali tourism under new norms. It is a ridiculous and a conspiracy to send a huge national income outside the country. We believe the local, indigenous group, the farmers, the suppressed groups, communities and other cultural aspects are the copy right of the nation. Inviting foreigners to study such aspects means to misrepresent our culture, history and tradition. It is a kind of plagiarism and the government, if the cabinet passes the same, is buying the frauds. Sherpas for mountains, old Newars to interpret the civilization, history, tradition and culture in the valley, people of Karnali to show live pity condition of poverty and hunger, as well to tell real stories of existence of Nepal and Nepali language and so on. The country, nation and nationality is sufficient to promote our tourism industry. The foreign investors and multinational companies would come with their proposal to invest guaranteeing a huge profit for us simply if we protect and promote our national wealth.
The minister considers the entrepreneurs are only the real tourism promoter. Besides PATA, Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Travel Agency Association of Nepal (NAATA) and Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) occasionally involve in formulation of tourism laws and policies. All other workers’ organization like guide including both trekking and tour, and potter never have an opportunity to take part and suggest on formulation of plans and policies. The one who runs after work to sell his/her mental or physical labor is worthless to the government, though constitution forbid them and their original ethics prohibits them to laugh at the suffering of the workers. Since the workers, selling either mental or physical labor, are never addressed in the plans and policies of Nepali tourism industry because tourism workforce does not help the government buy ballot and for the entrepreneurs they are not ally by nature.
The government, so called communist but inspired by capitalist thought, is making a plan to accumulate plenty of money not for collecting as national revenue but to institutionalize the corruption and gain materialistic life styles not only to the minister but to their coming generation, too. The notorious actions of the government providing public land in the name of an airlines company, cheaper lease rate on property of Nepal Trust, and recently permitting airline companies to make travel plan encroaching the areas of NAATA and TAAN justify the government necessarily does not follow the rule of law. It does anything that benefits the cabinet. The entrepreneurs who believe that they are in the main stream of Nepali tourism will be brought to the bay if the government finds an individual or agency financially stronger than present existing agencies. So, let’s get united before it gets too late.