Dhaka : The confidence of Bangladeshis on Nepal has not gone down. After a slight dip following the incident, people from here are travelling again to our country.
The dip was short-lived and everything is getting back to normal. Tourists from Bangladesh are third in terms of numbers, closely following China and India. Other countries are Sri Lanka, US and UK.
Mani Raj Lamichhane, Officiating Director, Tourism Products and Resources Development, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) was talking to the Bangladesh Monitor on the sidelines of the recently-held Dhaka Travel Mart-2018 (DTM-2018).
Lamichhane said, we were concentrating on China and India. Coming here personally to attend the Dhaka Travel Mart-2018, I see enormous potential in the Bangladesh market. It is a growing market. We should include Bangladesh in our marketing campaigns.
Besides going by air, Bangladeshis can travel to Nepal by land as road conditions have improved. Visa is no problem.
There are a lot of opportunities. We only need to do some promotions.
He termed the temporary absence of NTB from the Bangladesh market as manpower problem, he said, adding, Team NTB is now full of competent people.
Lamichhane said Nepal hopes to attract 1.5 million tourists, up from one million in 2017. We'll be counting on the Bangladesh market for this growth.
Three more airports
He informed that three more international airports are being constructed - all on plain land. Second International Airport (SIA), which will be biggest of the three, is being constructed 80 kilometres away from Kathmandu. It will be ready by 2022.
Vairava airport is being built near Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha, with World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) financing. It will be ready by 2021.
China's ExIm Bank is financing another airport at Pokhara which will be ready by 2019.
Tribhuban International Airport's (TIA) terminal building is also getting a facelift. TIA now has only three conveyor belts. There is chaos when many airlines' flights land at a time. They are trying to upgrade it, Lamichhane said.
Many new hotels chains are opening properties, including JW Marriott. Nepal, which has 16,000 rooms - small to big properties - will be having 4,000 more rooms by 2020.
Earlier, Anil Pant, Rooms Division Manager, Shangri-La Kathmandu and Gupta Bdr Singh Giri, Rooms Division Manager, Shangri-La Village Pokhara, spoke about their two properties.
Pant said, the 100-room five-star deluxe Shangri-La Kathmandu was built in 1979. The boutique property is not so far from city centre. Located near the residences of VIPs, it is very secure.
Giri said, the 51-room Shangri-La Village Pokhara, also five-star boutique property, was built in 1996. Travel from the Nepalese capital to Pokhara takes five to six hours.
The Annapurna range of the Himalayas can be seen from the Pokhara hotel. The city is famous also for Fewa Lake and Seti River.
Giri said, be ready for rain. It will inevitably rain in the afternoon. It is the Cherapunjee of Nepal.
The Kathmandu property's exterior gives off Nepalese style of architecture. The two properties' interiors and even bed linens exude similar touch.
Both are well-known for fine dining, gardens, swimming pools, yoga and spa.
Baithak and Sammelan are Shangri-La Kathmandu's conference venues, while Traders Hall, with strategically placed wooden columns, a thatched roof and verandah around the hall, is the conference venue of Shangri-La Village Pokhara.
At Dhaka Travel Mart-2018, Patenga Tours and Travels, GSA of the two five star hotels in Bangladesh, offered two-night three-day packages at the Kathmandu property for Tk 10,999 plus air ticket, while two-night three-day packages at the Pokhara property (Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu) for Tk 11,999.