Nepal chapter being an important chapter
How does it feel to be the Chairperson of such a big international Association as PATA?
“It’s a huge honor, as a human, to join PATA, to be supporting the association and to be elected as chairperson. Our industry is growing and there are so many young members. Particularly, the youth chapter in Nepal has been so active, I’d like to see more young members join and that’s one of the objectives of my role as chairperson.”
How was your overall impression of the Himalayan Travel Mart 2017?
“It was amazing; this is my second time to Nepal. And yet again Nepal has shown that kindness and generosity, the Himalayan Travel Mart was so well organized, the youth member, the student chapter did such an excellent job, not only were they there to support everybody but they were really leading, being MCs, and that they did such an excellent job, it was a really proud moment, I think for all PATA members, who were there at the Himalayan Travel Mart. I think it was a really well organized, well timed, given that the world has always been and will always be interested in Nepal. And this was a perfect opportunity to bring travelers industry experts from around the world to talk about Nepal and her future.”
The HTM had three different events amongst which were the ITBMC, what is your feedback on this event?
Sarah: “I think it was an interesting event and was very organized, I heard from a lot of delegates that they enjoyed it very much. I think one of the key things we as PATA want to support is the different aspects of travelers, and you could see that the local businesses were very keen on getting the content. About Nepal, out through the bloggers and from around the world. “
The HTM conference had two main sessions, one on Himalayan Tourism and one of Innovation in Marketing, what is your opinion on this part, as you were also one of the speakers?
“I certainly felt all the sessions were fascinating, I was particularly interested on hearing about the History of how tourism in Nepal started. And how it has continued and evolved, at the bloggers conference, there were some interesting points that were discussed and it would be useful to see how those discussion points are taken on and continue to evolve. “
Were you able to attend the B2B event, how do you think that went?
“Although I was not able to attend the B2B mart, I heard people enjoyed themselves and enjoyed a lot, I think the key is no matter how travel business evolves, having that face to face connection and the meetings in the destination certainly helps for new business, existing businesses to take on new products.”
From a networking perspective how do you rank this event?
“It was great, as I mentioned, it is always great to be back in Nepal, and you can really see the passion in the business owners to have a conversation. You could see that the delegates were enjoying themselves, talking and networking at all of the B2B events, the coffee sessions were great, the luncheons were fantastic. The dinner outside in the garden was so well received.”
How do you think on the relevance of HTM as a Nepali event?
“ I think it’s important, the travel mart has set a standard, what Nepal and the industry needs to do is make sure they continue good work but importantly, measure the effect and the impact of what one does. Much like we look at PATA, we would hope that the industry continues to look at relevant topics and how it would impact the travel industry.”
Do you find the Nepalese way of Hospitality good?
“ Yes, what I’ve seen is that the Nepalese hospitality is very patience and that the Nepalese people are always willing to do what they can to make your experience great. Like a great destinations there are smaller businesses, that can benefit from more training and from learning and more external experience but nothing beats the Nepalese joy and passion that they have for travel and for people visiting their country.”
On your workshop that you conducted here in Nepal, how do you think can TripAdvisor help Nepal as a destination?
“ We’re very proud to have signed an agreement with Nepal Tourism Board , part of that agreement is TripAdvisor inviting an external speaker , who is an expert on digital training for businesses and for government and have that person come to Nepal to share their knowledge. We held two workshops one in Pokhara and one in Kathmandu , with great success, lots of people attended and we hope to continue this marketing is very powerful but we all need to work together to drive that message of Nepal and tourism to the world. We want more people to come to Nepal to stay longer , spend more and share their great experiences on Trip Advisor to the rest of the world.”
How was the response of the Nepalese participants, do you think they know the value of digital marketing?
“ I do , I think more and more businesses understand it and want it, it’s hard if you’ve never done it before, it can feel like a lot of information but we came two years ago, on behalf of PATA to also do a digital training session, with PATA Nepal Chapter, and I think that was the first time something like that had been done in Nepal. This second session had a more engaged audience, and I believe the businesses will take on that information but like any learning it’s not just once, we need to come back again and continue to support the industry. And help them learn the new challenges, the new techniques in travel and digital.
Do you recommend people to visit Nepal?
“ Yes without a doubt, I think travelers from around the world should visit Nepal, I know that there is a perception that Nepal is only for mountaineering, as I talked about my father came for about 7 years he started trekking since 1979, but he was not a climber he was a trekker, he did one from the west of Nepal to Pokhara. But he said,” What inspired my travel to Nepal was that there is so much to see, and so much to do, beyond, just the climbing and although Everest is certainly a powerful magnet, I enjoyed my trip to Nepal, I was in Chitwan, I visited the National park, experienced the wildlife, Kathmandu is filled with history, culture and great shopping, fantastic food, and I’ve only just been twice and I look forward to seeing much more of Nepal” , “ So I would encourage travelers from around the world , who wish to see a beautiful country , beautiful people, amazing culture and history and a really diverse natural background to come to Nepal and spend some time here . I am already planning to come back again the end of November, again to support the industry, to see more and learn more and spend more time with my new Nepalese brothers and sisters. “
During your tenure as the Chairperson for PATA what vision do you have in order to support Nepal’s tourism?
“My aim as the Chairperson is to continue the good work that PATA has done, already I want to be closer to our chapters Nepal chapter being an important chapter, I want to spend more time with the members, the Youth chapter is very important, I hope I get to speak on the local schools and universities, to really help younger generations understand the power of private and public partnership and how tourism is a powerful force for good. And ask my PATA brothers and sisters to reach out and ask what they would like me to do, and how I can support them ultimately they are a sharing community and I look forward to hearing from my PATA family from Nepal on how I can support them better. “