Nepal recently organised the biggest tourism event, the Himalayan Travel Mart 2018 in early June 2018. The tag-line for the event, held at the Soaltee Crowne Plaza Kathmandu, was “Nepal, Gateway to the Himalaya.”
Organised by the Nepal Tourism Board, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal chapter and a number of other travel and tourism organizations, the theme of the event was ‘The Sustainable Road to Five Million Visitors in 2030’.
During the 3-day event, various events were organised.
June 1, 2018: Himalayan Travel Mart Conference (HTM2018)
June 2, 2018: International Travel Bloggers & Media Conference
June 2 & 3 2018: Travel Mart (meetings of travel sellers and buyers)
During the events a number of talks and discussions were organised and the most notable speakers included, Dr Chris Bottrill, Chairman of PATA
Madhur Bhandarkar, Indian Film Director and Screenwriter, Tashi Tenzing Sherpa, grandson of the renowned Tenzing Norgay, Adrian Hayes, adventurer, author, speaker and sustainability campaigner, William Vazquez, professional documentary photographer, Emily Rose Yates, travel writer, Matt Gibson, CEO, Upthink and former PTBA president, and many others.
The highlights of the talks were the suggestions made by each of the speakers on whether the goal of the conference – Five Million Visitors in 2030 – is attainable, or even desirable.
Issues of trash, Individual Social Responsibility (ISR) and how tourism can be part of the solution to attaining Nepal’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were highlighted during the event.
Tashi Tenzing Sherpa delivered a truly inspiring talk and said “Stop exploiting the mountain.”
Initiatives like these make one hopeful that Nepal can still muster up the political will to improve its infrastructure and attract the kind of tourists that will boost its economy.
The International Travel Bloggers & Media Conference (ITBMC) in Kathmandu, was held on the second day of The Himalayan Travel Mart 2018, in Kathmandu at the Soaltee Crowne Plaza Kathmandu.
It was a platform for travel bloggers to network, learn and meet travel experts from Nepal and world over. It was also to understand the challenges that Nepal faces in marketing its tourist products and sustainably scaling up tourism to the stated goal of Five Million Visitors in 2030.
Some of the presentations at the ITBMC were very good. There was a lot of learning and sharing of information, as well as discussions on the role of bloggers as influencers.
Adding a bit of glamour to the proceedings was Nepal’s very own Miss Universe, Nagma Shrestha, who showed us how Nepal’s beauty queens are promoting the cause of tourism.
The evening after the ITBMC, a gala dinner accompanied by lively Nepali folk dances was organised at Hotel Annapurna, Kathmandu.
The second and third day of HTM 2018 saw more than 100 international buyers and sellers going around through the various stalls put up and create opportunities for travel business.
HTM 2018 was a unique, fruitful and an unparalleled platform for networking, promotion, shared knowledge, valuable insights, and business opportunities with the remarkable gathering of Global Buyers, Sellers, Travel Bloggers/ Influencers, National and International Media, Travel Industry Professionals and Delegates focused on different aspects of the Himalayan Tourism.