Kathmandu: The United Nations Regional Workshop on “Measuring Tourism: Better data for better tourism in Asia and the Pacific” kicked off in Kathmandu today.
The 3-day program is jointly organized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) of Nepal and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).
High-level representatives from India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Maldives, Indonesia, Iran, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Korea, Thailand, Spain and Nepal, are participating in the program that seeks to discuss the measurement and use of tourism data for “People, Planet and Prosperity”.
Holding of this high-profile workshop in Kathmandu is expected to increase visibility and the potential of Nepal as an ideal destination for regional and international conventions.
The workshop also provides an ideal platform to gain in depth insight on the current and pertinent tourism topics and to share Nepal experience with the international delegates.
Tourism Minister Sudhan Kirati was present during the opening ceremony and delivered a special address acknowledging the importance of tourism data and its potential for use in policies and plans for steady tourism recovery in the wake of the pandemic.
He said the focus now should be on product development and diversification, investment in tourism sector, conservation of natural and cultural heritage, ensuring that the benefits of tourism reach community and grassroots level, for building a path to sustainable, resilient and responsible tourism industry.
A panel discussion was held on “Measuring Tourism for People, Planet and Prosperity” moderated by Eunji Tae from the UNWTO. Dr. Ahmed Salih, State Minister of Tourism, Maldives; Dr. Thok Sokhom, Secretary of State, Ministry of Tourism Cambodia; Pudji Ismartini, Deputy Chief of Distribution and Services Statistics, BPS-Statistics, Indonesia; Beka Jekeli, Director of External Relations, UNWTO; Suresh Adhikari, Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation; and Dr. Dhananjay Regmi, Chief Executive Officer of NTB were the panelists.
The panel discussion brought out various issues regarding access, mining of data and use of the data and analytics for the development of a sustainable, inclusive and resilient tourism industry.