Financial Plan: NTB proposes record Rs1.35b budget for 2017-18The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has proposed a record Rs1.35 billion budget for the fiscal year 2017-18 to rev up advertising and promotional activities to boost tourist arrivals. The budget is expected to be approved in a couple of weeks, the board said.
The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has proposed a record Rs1.35 billion budget for the fiscal year 2017-18 to rev up advertising and promotional activities to boost tourist arrivals. The budget is expected to be approved in a couple of weeks, the board said.
As per the financial plan, Rs320 million has been earmarked for international marketing, including international travel and trade fairs. The board has set aside Rs310 million for media and digital marketing. The NTB had sanctioned Rs1.12 billion for the purpose.
The board has given continuity to consumer publicity programmes through popular global media outlets like CNN International and BBC World to reach out to a larger number of prospective visitors to Nepal.
Last fiscal year, the country’s tourism promotional body had spent Rs100 million on media campaign to spread out the message to global audiences through two popular media outlets—Reuters and BBC World—and travel site TripAdvisor. It was the first NTB consumer media campaign that employed three agencies simultaneously to woo foreign visitors. “This year, we have decided to rope in CNN International as well for consumer publicity,” said NTB Chief Executive Deepak Raj Joshi.
The NTB has proposed three new programmes for this fiscal year. The board will be launching “Chulo Nepal” campaign, under which the board will provide training on food hygiene in tourist-standard hotels, restaurants and homestays in major tourist areas like Kathmandu, Chitwan, Lumbini and Pokhara.
“As we have been receiving complaints about poor food hygiene, we have decided to run a campaign under which the NTB will spend certain amount to trained people in mid- and low-range hotels, restaurants and homestays,” said Joshi.
On the other hand, typical and authentic Nepali food would be promoted abroad.
“Clean Nepal” is another programme planned for this year. As well as in seven Unesco World Heritage sites in Kathmandu, the campaign will be launched in Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini and Bardiya.
The board has decided to launch “Photo Nepal” campaign under which Nepal would be promoted through arts and exhibitions, photographs and social media platforms. “As social media sites have become powerful means to give the real picture of a location to prompt people to visit the sites, we have decided to provide training for potters, tour and trekking guides—who are obviously the primary sources,” said Joshi, adding that they would be trained to take “professional” photographs and post them on the social media sites.
The NTB’s revenue comes from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS). It collects a tourism service fee of Rs1,130 from foreign travellers departing from the TIA. The board has around Rs350 million in unspent budget from the last fiscal year.
Tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 41.50 percent to 460,237 individuals in the first half of 2017, raising expectations that the total figure will hit the 1-million mark by the year-end.
According to the Department of Immigration, Nepal received 134,988 more tourists in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year—thanks largely to a surge in arrivals from India, China, the United States and the United Kingdom.