KATHMANDU: Nepal is hosting the first Asian Resilience Summit in Kathmandu on Friday to celebrate the successful resilience efforts demonstrated over the years by Nepal and in overcoming the devastating effects of the 2015 earthquakes.

The event is being jointly organised by the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council, the World Tourism Organisation of the United Nations (UNWTO) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

This summit will be an opportunity to share the strategies that have enabled the country to recover despite the different economic, political, natural and anthropogenic changes in the last few years, the Nepal Tourism Board said. Furthermore, the event is seen as a platform to foster opportunities for partnerships in our sustainable business practices, it said.

Nepal Tourism Board’s CEO, Deepak Raj Joshi, attributed Nepal’s recovery focusing on public private partnership. “Working with the public-private partnership model, Nepal Tourism Board has proven to be a successful and inspiring example for the world. I sincerely hope the board will continue to play a leading role, augmenting Nepal’s image at an international level, highlighting the advantages of tourism on a local level and thus accelerating the growth of the tourism sector for the greater benefit of the country.”

Speakers from all over the world are going to share the best practices in the field of Resilience and Tourism which can be adapted in other parts of the world, the board said. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary General of UNWTO, Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism of Jamaica, Jing Xu, Director of UNWTO and Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA will speak during the one-day event.

Following the 1st Asian Resilience Summit, the board will also be hosting the prestigious International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Award 2019, one of the most prestigious awards in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Mohan Krishna Sapkota, secretary for Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, said that hosting the prestigious IIPT Award in Nepal would not only promote Nepal’s tourism but also encourage tourism professionals to work for sustainable tourism which is an urgent need of the whole world.

There are four award categories.

Resilience Tourism Community Award recognises community-based tourism projects which have created substantial social impact in Nepal, through job creation, training or community development.

Resilient Tourism Business Award is based on an entity that either has sustainable long-term exponential growth or practices that involve and invest heavily in human capital.

Change maker in Tourism Award will be given to the individual or entrepreneur who has made a significant change towards tourism either from within or outside the travel sector.

Resilient Efforts through Cultural Diversity Award will be given to a local business, region or NGO that celebrates their cultural diversity through a proven approach that incorporates human interaction as an asset that promotes relationships that are nurtured and promoted through sustainable tourism.