The Himalayan Travel Mart: A new day for Nepal Tourism


The Himalayan Travel Mart in Kathmandu concluded last night with a spectacular authentic Nepalese Dinner at the Bhojan Griha restaurant.

The four-day PATA Nepal chapter branded event under the guidance of Suresh Singh Budal had the World Tourism Network as a strategic partner.

Opened by the Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal, other high-level dignitaries, and Nepal tourism leaders participated in the Himalayan Travel Mart.

They included the Hon. Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, Mr. Sudan Kirati, Suresh Adhikari, Secretary for Ministry of Culture, Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Chairman of PATA Nepal Chapter, Dr. Dhananjay Regmi, CEO- of Nepal Tourism Board, Mr. Ubaraj Adhikari, Executive Chairman- Nepal Airlines Corporation.

World Tourism Network leaders included the keynote address by Mr. Vijay Poonoosamy, Aviation Group Chair for the World Tourism Network (WTN). He pointed out the role of two airports and a national airline.

Mr. Poonoosamy also took part in a panel discussion on Nepal’s new International airport together with Mr. Kapil Kaul, Director – South Asia Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), Mr. Puskar Nath Thakur, Chief Commercial Officer, Delhi International Airport (GMR Group), Capt. Suraj Bhandari, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

The session was moderated by Mr. Sugat Ratna Kansakar, Former Managing Director- Nepal Airlines Corporation and PATA Personality of the Year 2018.

WTN Chairman Juergen Steinmetz participated in the discussion on adapting to climate change, embracing sustainability, and building a resilient tourism industry. His remark to not forget travel and tourism is also a business echoed a reaction with comments still pouring in. Steinmetz explained a new initiative for the sustainable global tourism in the making in Saudi Arabia. There was great interest in the audience to learn more.

Dr. Suvash Dawadi, MDGPEM, DIMM – CIWEC Travel Medicine Centre), Ms. Shova Mohan, Founder- RARE India, Mr. Upaul Majumdar, Head of Practice – Tourism for South Asia, Dolma Consulting UK, participated in the discussion moderated by Mr. William Vazquez, Founder, and President of Camera Voyages.

Moderated by former Nepal Tourism Board CEO and World Tourism Network executive Mr. Joshi Deepak, who is also the Director General- of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), the session Fostering Regional Tourism Potential: Collaboration, Innovation, Sustainability, and Beyond received good feedback.

Mr. Deepak’s session was attended by Mr. Shahid Hamid, Chairman- of the PATA Bangladesh Chapter. Mr. Navin Berry, Founder- SATTE, BITB, and Cross Section Media; Mr. Abdulla Ghiyas, President- MATATO (Maldives Association of Travel Agents & Tour Operators ); Mr. Dimitri Cooray, Chairman-PATA Sri Lanka Chapter (MD- Jetwing Hotels), Ms. Shreejana Rana, Executive Director, Hotel Annapurna | IP President- Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) | President – Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Shivek Sachdev, Vice President, Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) | Managing Director – OMG Experience.

Mr. Shiva Prasad Dhakal, Founder Chairman, introduced the Community Homestay Network (CHN) in Nepal.

Eran Ketter from Israel presented his research from the European Travel Commission entitled: European Tourism Trends and Opportunities for Nepal’s Tourism.


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, also a member of the World Tourism Network representing the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) explained the return of the Chinese outbound travelers and the need for a meaningful tourism organization in the Himalayas.

The closing Keynote Address by Ms. Raya Bidshahri, Founder and CEO of the School of Humanity, discussed Reinventing Education.

A two-day seller and buyer meeting followed the two-day summit.

The best stand award was given to the Green Chwadi Natural Retreat.

Delegates were treated to entertainment and good Nepalese food at venues around Kathmandu, including the pre-opened new Princess Dusit Hotel.

The Himalayan Travel Mart will be an annual event, with the next session fixed for June 8, 2025.

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