KATHMANDU, JANUARY 10
Newly-appointed Tourism Minister Bhanubhakta Dhakal has said that so far the government has not been able to address the issues dogging the private sector in the tourism industry. During an interaction programme today with the stakeholders, he assured the private sector that he would help bridge the gap created by the government earlier.
“I have been closely looking at the private sector’s issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and I assure you that all the problems being faced by the private sector will be addressed gradually,” he said, adding, “No decision will be taken unilaterally. The ministry will work by coordinating with the private sector players for the development of the tourism industry.”
The minister also mentioned that he is new to the industry but will work for its betterment without any self-interest. Dhakal further said that the policies and rules that were formulated for the resumption of tourism activities amid the pandemic, while he was the health minister, cannot be changed all of a sudden.
“We need to prioritise public’s health before anything,” he added.
Minister Dhakal also informed that the ministry is working on relaxing rules of on-arrival visa. However, the rules related with quarantine will not be made flexible for the industry. “We are still looking for a better way to manage the quarantine policy,” he said. He also assured to bring new policies to uplift the hotel and restaurant sector in the coming days.
“Before framing any policy we need to have a clear discussion with the stakeholders. So, from now onwards the ministry will hold discussions with the private sector before taking any decision,” he stated.
The tourism minister also urged the private sector not to protest against the government by citing that the government is not doing anything for the industry’s recovery. “The government is doing its part and needs the private sector’s support. So, let’s support each other instead of protesting against each other,” he added.