While three trade unions have been agitating for a month to transform the Nepal Airlines Corporation into a company model, 14 tourism-related organizations on Friday handed over a joint memorandum to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba urging him to transform the state-owned flag carrier into a company model.
Entrepreneurs and regional organizations in hotels, airlines, trekking, travel, restaurants, rafting, tourist transport, mountaineering, and other sectors have reached the Prime Minister’s Office in Singha Durbar demanding revival of Nepal’s tourism sector. They said that commercial success was not achieved due to a lack of network expansion. Therefore, a demand has been made to the Prime Minister to transform the corporation into a company model to make it a for-profit organization, said Binayak Shah, first vice-chairman of the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN).
“The national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation should be transformed into a company model to make it competitive, strong and profitable in the international arena after the necessary detailed and transparent homework in an environment where the airlines have not been able to achieve commercial success due to qualitative development and expansion of the international network,” the memorandum said.
Tourism business man view on NAC company model
Chairman of the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) Achyut Guragain said that the Prime Minister had promised to talk about the company structure of the corporation after the nomination of the Tourism Minister. As the cabinet has not been expanded, Prime Minister Deuba is also looking after the Ministry of Tourism. The corporation had submitted the draft management letter and rules of the company model to the Ministry of Tourism on June 28 to change the institutional structure of the corporation as per the budget of 2078/79 BS. Three trade unions in the corporation have locked the general manager’s office for 30 days in protest of the action, as a result of which the general manager has been working from outside without going to the corporation headquarters.
According to the organizations, the tourism sector has been severely affected by the pandemic, and if the government does not take the necessary steps to save it in time, it will create a more complicated situation. He said that it was ironic that the government did not address the tourism sector as a low-priority industry and did not address the demands and suggestions raised for the sustainable development of the tourism sector.
“Integrated national plans and programs based on the study of successful practices for the preservation and revival of tourism by other countries of the world should be included in the economic white paper proposed by the Government of Nepal and implemented at war level,” the memorandum said. In response, Guragain said that the Prime Minister has promised to hold discussions with businessmen, including the Minister of Finance and Tourism, soon.