The year 2020 has been socially and economically difficult not only to Nepal but to the people all over the globe. People from all walks of life have been badly affected, let alone the tourism sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has become the biggest health and economic threat to our generation. The positive signs of a vaccine for common people seems to be underway in a couple of weeks but the uncertainty of containing the coronavirus, especially in the country like ours, prevails.
Tourism in Nepal is a matter of recent history. Nepal was open for tourists only after the abolishment of the autocratic Rana regime in 1951. It was only in 1955 when Nepal started granting tourists visas for foreigners. For the last 70 years, Nepal happened to go through massive political instability, civil war and devastating earthquake. Every time when tourism entrepreneurs in Nepal strived for something phenomenal, unfortunate events happened. And, this time due to the COVID pandemic.
After almost a year of the spread of coronavirus in the world, a clear shift in people’s behavior and traveling pattern has been seen. It is sure to impact peoples’ traveling destination and choice of adventures. As tourism entrepreneurs of one of the most scenic places on the earth, it is our responsibility to assure a healthy, comfortable and adventurous visit and attract quality tourist arrivals to Nepal in record numbers. It is also the demand of time to upgrade our facilities in the best interest of the tourists in the post COVID situation.
I have been elected as the President of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal Western Regional Association (TAAN-WRA) in the challenging as well as crucial time in history. Apart from having the major responsibility of leading the trekking tourism sector in Gandaki province, I also have to be a part of the broader alliance for tourism promotion in Nepal. I am proud to have been elected President during this time and assure to leave no stone unturned to restart tourism and act towards smooth functioning of trekking business in this region.
As the President of TAAN-WRA for the next two years, I commit to be an effective team player and work collectively towards achieving our collective vision of sustainable tourism. It is my privilege to have such a bunch of dynamic people in the team to facilitate the growth and development of tourism in the province. Together we can and we will bounce back much higher in the days to come. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members, well-wishers and tourism entrepreneurs for trusting me as the president of the organization and electing a high potential team to achieve TAAN-WRA’s vision.
I am really looking forward to working collaboratively with the tourism related organizations and all other stakeholders in the Gandaki Province.
Sushil Raj Poudel
TAAN Western Regional Association
9th December 2020