KATHMANDU: Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), in coordination with Society of Travel and Tour Operators Nepal (SOTTO-Nepal), organized Nepal Sales Missions in Hanoi, Phnom Penh and Bangkok, the major cities of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand on June 10.

The five-day sales missions were focused on promoting Nepal as a “Fountain of Buddhism” as well as a premiere holiday destination in the emerging source market.

‘Nepal Presentation’ featuring on major tourism attractions and activities of Nepal was made by NTB officials in the Nepal Evening Programs in Phnom Penh and Bangkok. The Presentation was also highlighted on Visit Nepal Year 2020 Campaign and Lifetime Experiences that tourists can have in Nepal.

Ghanshyam Upadhyaya, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, said that the government has accorded priority for tourism development.

Madhusudhan Upadhyaya, President of SOTTO-Nepal, addressing the audiences requested the local travel trade to join in hands with Nepali counterparts to sell Nepal as a destination choice for Buddhist pilgrims.

The participating travel trade companies from Nepal had business to business (B2B) meetings with the local buyers. The buyers were found interested in selling Buddhist site specific packages of Nepal. The meeting helped to enhance confident among the local outbound operators to keep Nepal in their travel itineraries.

In the Nepal Evening Program in Bangkok, Ganesh Prasad Dhakal, Ambassador of Nepal to Thailand, expressing his satisfaction over the remarkable diplomatic relations existing between the countries since last 60 years, appealed the local travel agents to incorporate Lumbini in their outbound packages.

Bikram Pandey, Goodwill Ambassador for Lumbini, had an insightful presentation on ‘Buddhist Circuits on Buddha’s Life across South Asia’. The program in Bangkok was coordinated by The Embassy of Nepal, Bangkok.

Thus, the Sales Missions have provided an opportunity to showcase tourism products of Nepal amid a gathering of local media and outbound travel companies of those countries, to educate them about Nepal as a must travel destination and finally create a strong network among the operators. It is hoped that more tourists will be visiting from these countries in the year 2020, when Nepal is celebrating Visit Nepal Year 2020.

These three countries are Buddhist dominant countries. So, Nepal can be a must visit destination for people of these countries. In the year 2018 around 12,454 tourists from Vietnam, 3,790 from Cambodia and 53,250 from Thailand visited Nepal. Nepal is well connected with these countries via Bangkok. Nepal Airlines operates three flights a week in Kathmandu-Bangkok-Kathmandu Sector. Similarly, Thai Airways and Thai Lion Air operate daily flight in the sectors.