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 Nepal Press release 8/02

First Nepal Sales Mission to China Concludes Successfully

The first Nepal Sales Mission to China was held successfully from June 8-18, 2002, in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong SAR. The Sales Mission, the first of its kind in China, was organized as part of Destination Nepal Campaign.

It is estimated that about 12.13 million Chinese traveled overseas in 2001 and the number is growing by double digit every year. Nepal is also the first and only country in South Asia to be given the Approved Destination Status (ADS) by the Government of People's Republic of China. Nepal Tourism Board organized the Sales Mission with the objective of attracting Chinese tourists to the Kingdom by promoting Nepal effectively as a value-for-money destination offering the best of culture, nature and adventure with multitude of possibilities to have a great holiday and inhabited by the most friendly and charming people.

The Nepalese delegation was led by Mr. Shankar Prasad Koirala, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation. The delegation consisted of 17 private sector participants and a cultural troupe. Nepal Tourism Board was represented by Mr. Aditya Baral, Manager and Mr. Kashi Raj Bhandari, Officer - Tourism Marketing and Promotion.

There was an overwhelming response in all four cities with a massive turnout of tour operators and media who interacted with Nepalese tour operators and officials of HMG Nepal and Nepal Tourism Board. Representatives of prominent magazines, television and newspapers raised queries on Nepal which were answered in detail by HMG and NTB officials. The Sales Mission provided a good platform for interaction and sharing first hand information between the Nepalese and Chinese delegation. The participants from Nepal have made substantial contacts with their Chinese counterparts and they are confident that the deals will be translated into business in the very near future.

Addressing the press and tour operators meet at Beijing, Royal Nepalese Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, H.E Mr. Rajeshwar Acharya, shed light on the age-old relations existing between China and Nepal and also highlighted various tourism attractions that Nepal has on offer for Chinese tourists. Likewise, Royal Nepalese Consulate General to Hong Kong, Mr. Jayanendra J. Sharma emphasized on the possibility of exploring and reinforcing the tourism potentialities between the two countries.

Nepal Tourism Board made a presentation to showcase the rich cultural and natural heritage of the country in all four venues. A cultural program showcasing traditional Nepali dance and music was also staged in all four cities, which was enjoyed and appreciated by all. CD-ROM and Guidebooks in Chinese language, souvenirs and other publicity materials were distributed to the invited media and tour operators.

The sales mission was organized by Nepal Tourism Board in association with Royal Nepal Airlines and travel trade of Nepal and coordinated by event management company B&B International, Marketing Representative of NTB in China.

CEO's MESSAGE

The month of June has recorded a significant growth in total international visitor arrival to the Kingdom of Nepal. June 2002 recorded an unprecedented 35% growth (over June 2001). This increase was contributed significantly by increase in Indian arrivals by a whopping 107% totaling 8,480. It seems the pace of decline has softened for third country visitors as well for the month with a total of 5,361. This shows that tourists are resuming their trip to Nepal and that the destination still has the same exotic charm for the visitors as expressed through various survey conducted by renowned international newspapers like Guardian and The Observer of Great Britain. The readership poll survey conducted few months before by these two leading newspapers said Nepal stands at second place after New Zealand in the preferred destination category. Such recognition from travelers and the increase in arrival figures reaffirm Nepal's reputation as a destination offering the best of scenery and adventure, multitude of possibilities to have a great holiday and inhabited by the most friendly and charming people.

The positive apparent statistics is definitely good news for the tourism industry. Word of mouth has been our biggest source of publicity and it has worked in our favor this time as well. Word has got around that life in Nepal is normal and tourism industry is functioning smoothly irrespective of the few sporadic incidents happening in the far and remote parts of our country. At the same time our promotional and marketing efforts in major markets like India, Japan, China, Australia, etc. are also bearing fruits and if this trend continues for the coming days too, we hope to gradually reach the threshold of pre-crisis levels in the upcoming months.

But the figure of one month alone is not sufficient to make us complacent, our ultimate goal will not be achieved until we reach the status quo level of yesteryears and begin to achieve the projected growth rates. Therefore, our entire focus will still be concentrated toward sustaining the positive trend apparent now for future steady growth. In order to achieve this gigantic task, NTB has been closely working with various professional individuals and institutions for chalking out appropriate short and long-term strategy for establishing the pristine image of Nepal as a premier and perfect holiday destination. And, NTB would like to welcome ideas, suggestions and advice of all in this effort. Positive criticisms and concrete ideas always help us to improve our efforts.

Pradeep Raj Pandey
Chief Executive Officer

Nepal Tourism Board
 

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