Welcome Ceremony of Tourism Minister Sudan Kirati by Nepal Tourism Board

Sudan Kirati, the Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister, shows that he is not like his predecessors on the welcome program itself. He is here to make things happen.

10, Feb 2023 | nepaltraveller.com

The tourism board welcomes a “dynamic, visionary, energetic” Minister, who vows to tackle grave issues such as corruption in the ministry and lack of honest work from his officials. He lets them know that he wants to see some change immediately.

A welcome ceremony of the Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Sudan Kirati was held by Nepal Tourism Board on 27th Magh, 2079 (Friday). Despite the fact that programs with a minister usually begin late due to the late arrival of the minister, this program started right on time. Kirati was not welcomed with a Khada or garland according to his wishes, who saw it as a waste of time and money. This impressed the people who attended the program. Minister Kirati was the Chief Guest while Suresh Adhikari, who is the General Secretary of the Tourism Ministry was the Special Guest of the program. Marketing Head of Nepal Tourism Board, Laxman Gautam, emceed the program.

Mr. Gautam started the program with a few lines of Robert Frost: “Woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep.” He informed the attendees that it is a poem that Jawaharlal Nehru absolutely loved. He declared the young Minister as “dynamic, visionary and energetic.” He gave a brief background of the tourism board as carrying a history of 23 years of public and private partnership.

Mr. Dhananjay Regmi, the CEO of the Nepal Tourism Board, enlightened us of many issues regarding tourism in Nepal, such as the need to focus on tourists from India and China, to promote Nepal as not only a seasonal destination but also an all year round destination, to depict Nepal as a destination for from kids to old aged people, to increase the number of short hauls so that tourist apart from adventurers will also be tempted to make short hikes from the cities, to promote hills stations and to attract investments from private sector. 

He also informed the attendees of raising the crucial step of expanding the tourism base from a few concentrated areas, such as Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini, and the Sagarmatha National Park. He also highlighted the issues of waste management, regulation of adventure activities, minimum wages for the workers in high altitude regions, and rescue management. He proposed future initiatives, such as turning river beaches into tourist hubs, encouraging the private sector, and constructing better toilets. He spoke of many futuristic ideas, such as turning Nepal into a casino destination, wedding destination, and film destination. 

Shrijana Rana, the President of Hotel Association Nepal, also urged the government to focus on issues that the private sector alone cannot fulfill, such as food safety, better toilets, physical safety, climate change, and maintaining up to date statistics. She also advised the government to make it easier for private businesses to work in the tourism sector. She claimed that just the opposite is taking place as the private sector is being given a hard time by the government. 

Chandra Rijal, the Vice President of Nepal Tourism Board, also made a speech where he expressed his grievances at the state of tourism in our country and the way things are done inside the ministry. Suresh Adhikari, the General Secretary of the tourism ministry and, by default, the President of Nepal Tourism Board, expressed a pressing need for restructuring of the mechanisms within the ministry. 

At the end, the Tourism Minister Kirati made his speech. He pointed out the loans that private businesses in the tourism sector have to incur and that there should be more legislation to help them. He expressed his determination to end corruption within the tourism ministry, which received a round of applause from the attendees. He also emphasized on the need to have everyone follow the law. He raised many questions regarding the operation of Nepal Tourism Board and his ministry. He declared that he wanted to see his officials do an honest job. He wanted to see some results. In his speech, he, furthermore, focused on the importance of better sanitation for tourism to flourish.

The welcome program was a success. It ran smoothly without any hiccups. The best thing was that the minister arrived on time, which, as I have mentioned before, doesn’t normally happen. Those who attended the program were very pleased to see a young and courageous Minister in action. They wished him all the best.

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