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Posted by: NTN Team | Date: October 13, 2009
Sita Ram Sapkota newly elected president of TAAN born in 2023 B.S. Ashad 8 in Chisapani-1, Khotang district. Up to SLC, Sapkota has studied in Khotang. For Higher degree he moved to Kathmandu and started to learn commerce. While in college he started to work part time in travel agency. After his graduation he had given full time in this business. In 1993 he established his own trekking company as Karyang Kurung Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd. He had been elected twice as a treasurer in TAAN and once General Secretary. His long experience in travel and tourism may help TAAN to achieve new heights.
NTN team has taken short interview in current issues about TAAN and tourism year 2011.
NTN: What is your planning after electing as a President of TAAN?
Sapkota: Our election manifesto is foremost base of our team to priorities in the execution of planning which we have committed during election campaign to our members.
NTN: Do you think your plan will implement within your time?
Sapkota: We will try our best rather than being optimistic in our mission. I am confident that our target will be fulfilled within our time coz we have our team to accomplish it.
NTN: Tourism workers are demanding for their welfare fund, social security, insurance, and employment guarantee. How would you address this demand?
Sapkota: Recently, we have signed 5 points temporary agreement between TAAN and UNITRAV up to December 31st. we are going to formed a executive team including government representative, TAAN members, tourism entrepreneurs and tourism workers representative to address this issue within December 15. The team will recommend the standard wage system including other facilities which will be implemented from 2010.
NTN: Pay and perk facilities for tourism workers are big issue. In the meantime, do you think tourism workers are skillful and efficient to handle tourist?
Sapkota: I can’t say all of them are efficient and enough trained to serve tourist. Trained manpower must be hired by agency so that such weaknesses can be removed.
NTN: Does TAAN have any training program?
Sapkota: TAAN generally coordinate with NATHM to provide trekking guide training, eco trekking training and safety majors training to make them confidence in their work.
NTN: Tourists are getting standard services in Nepal?
Sapkota: It depends upon the tourist itself. If they can pay standard prices they are definitely getting standard services. But for budget tourist, it is normal services.
NTN: What are the activities that TAAN has set for Nepal Tourism Year 2011?
Sapkota: Nepal tourism year 2011 is not only TAAN’s Program; it is officially announced by country itself. I have been saying time to time NTY11 may also limited in slogan only like visit nepal98. We do have no more infrastructures to provide quality services to the tourist. We don’t have enough standard hotels for tourist if they come in bulk. Similarly, our national flag carrier is moving downwards rather than adding new Boeings it is limited to only one Boeing.
NTN: In such condition is it possible to make NTY11 successful?
Sapkota: Without adding new aircraft and constructing new infrastructure it seems to be impossible. New destinations, easy visa services, attractive packages, or free visa system must be there to bring ten lakhs tourist in Nepal.
NTN: Is TAAN cooperating with government bodies to recognize Nepal is best destination in international arena?
Sapkota: We are doing from our parts but government must take responsibility to promote tourism in Nepal. Government can employ their program through embassy of Nepal in different country. Through embassy government can gather travel agency and promote Nepal through them by organizing different program related to Nepal.
NTN: Is it possible to attract tourist while country is politically unstable?
Sapkota: It must be amended that tourist services need to be open in any condition. In Nepal in small issues also highway has been blocked by small number of people.
NTN: Do you have any things to share?
Sapkota: In TAAN there is no one is in opposition, all of us must be united together to develop it .
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