Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Nepal Has huge potential for high value tourism

प्रकाशित मिति: 2017/07/10
Damien Cook, Chairman  E-Tourism Frontiers
Damien Cook, Chairman E-Tourism Frontiers

How do you feel about being here in Nepal ?
“I Love it, this is my second trip and I am looking forward to coming again this year.”

What is your overall impression about the ITBMC ?
“It was very well organized; everything seemed to be efficiently run. The venue was good, everything was perfect. I think it is good have a discussion about blogging and the value of it was good for the industry to get some alternative opinions about the value of that sort of content.”

We had around 107 participants from all over the world at the ITBMC? How do you think, an event as such would help Nepal’s Tourism ?
“That’s very hard to say, that’s the problem with, I mean as you know I am a big believer the fact that every tourist is a blogger now by sharing on social media. Whether or not the actual influence a lot of these guys have or not is something that needs to be measured, I think there’s definitely value in taking the list of people you have and using some software to track all the content they post to measure the engagement rates and ideally click through in conversion rates. I have in fact offered to help Nepal Tourism Board, to track such tourists, bloggers, by using software that I have recommended.

You were a speaker at the HTM conference how was your experience on that ?
“ It was a good event, I liked, I enjoyed it, there were a mixed group of people and I found some of the speakers, very interesting, particularly the ones that were looking at a historically at Nepal and has some narrative of the industry and where it was headed. I think it’s really good in having that discussion, about new markets, group travel Mass travel.

As an outsider how do you count the participation from the local industry
“Yes I think so; the turn out in Kathmandu was amazing, the amount of people we had and also we had very good audience, there were good questions, a lot of good engagement.”

What should Nepal really do to promote its tourism products to the world?
“I think Nepal is at a critical point where you really need to decided what you’re selling and to whom. I think there is huge potential for high value tourism, something Nepal’s always been good at , I think there’s a risk now particularly with some markets and the pushing down of prices for larger group travel which I think can negatively affect, the destination. I really think there’s a solid room for growth for upper end and mid-ranged accommodations and tour operators in this country.”

As your specialization is Digital marketing, how do you think Nepal can benefit from it?
“Training the industry, which NTB is doing creating a community between NTB and the Trades, so that they share content between themselves much better than they do now. So you eventually create a community, which is the, customers have their experiences that they share, their content, that is aggregated by the industry and then NTB has agreements to aggregate that content, and use it that’s really important. Outside of that, more E-Commerce, better access to online payments, an online booking, more access to wi-fi, places like this the airport, where people should be sharing their experiences before they leave.”

Since you have conducted workshops, in Kathmandu and in Pokhara, how do you find the interest level of Nepalese people on these workshops?
“Very high especially from people in Kathmandu, very high quality of questions and interests. I was very impressed by the industry particularly in Kathmandu.

Do you think Digital Marketing strategy can pick up in Nepal?
“Obviously two years ago talking about the same issues, then people would react in a way it was the first time they were hearing about it, and react with an awe. But now I can see the difference already, a lot of the operators starting to move towards that direction, specially the younger generation.”

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