Growing Nepal's tourism industry and supporting its development and conservation efforts through increased awareness of its sustainable tourism offerings
- Client: Nepal Tourism Board
- Partners: Nepalese Tourism Partners
- Project Duration: March 2012 – May 2012
Nepal is a country with a long, rich historical tradition, a diverse cultural heritage, and a breathtaking natural landscape, but it is also one of the world’s poorest nations, resulting in a number of economic and environmental problems. This combination of development issues and unique tourism assets make Nepal an ideal destination for sustainable tourism, yet many international travelers are unaware of Nepal’s tourism offerings and it has difficulty reaping benefits from this industry that would help alleviate many of its most pressing issues. An increased awareness of Nepal as a sustainable tourism destination is needed to increase visitorship and help grow the economy and preserve the nation’s environment and cultural heritage.
The Nepal Tourism Board contracted Solimar to organize a Travel Trade Road Show throughout five U.S. cities—including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and New York—in hopes of generating increased awareness of and interest in the country as a viable tourism destination. The objective of the road show was to present Nepal to tour operators, travel agents and media in a seminar format to allow the NTB to educate American agents and operators on the country. A number of Nepalese travel partners also attended the road show to network with the U.S. agents and share their services with them.
- Event planning: Solimar requested proposals and collected quotations from numerous venues and caterers in each city, which were then presented in a shortlist to NTB for final choices. Once final choices were made, Solimar booked and coordinated all event logistics.
- Travel logistics: included writing letters to recommend that the US Government offer travel visas to delegates from Nepal; researching affordable rates and suitable locations of accommodations, researching domestic flights and identifying ground transfers for the NTB and tour operators/suppliers from Nepal. Made final bookings for flights and accommodations.
- Outreach: Solimar created databases of relevant tour operators, travel agents, affinity groups, and travel media and sent invitations via email and social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MeetUp) followed by confirmation phone calls.
- Orientation: The events launched in Los Angeles with an orientation meeting with Solimar providing delegates with a welcome presentation and tips on how to work with US travel trade to make the most of their meetings.
- Collateral Distribution: Solimar conducted a mailing of delegate print collateral to US trade that were unable to attend road show events but were interested in receiving information.
The Road Show yielded the following results:
- Around 150 representatives from U.S. tour operators, travel agencies, affinity groups, and media outlets attended the five city events and were given information on Nepal’s tourism offerings. An additional 53 that could not make it to the events but expressed interest in learning and receiving information about Nepal were provided with relevant collateral.
- Established partnership between NTB and PATA
- Increased business opportunities for the Nepal tourism industry. A number of the Nepali delegates received follow up business-related emails from interested U.S. operators and agents just after the events concluded.
- Increased awareness of Nepal as a sustainable tourism destination through increased media coverage: a newsletter circulated to a much wider audience by a satisfied U.S. tour operator who felt it necessary and beneficial to promote Nepal, the NTB, and the events as well as a National Geographic article highlighting the Great Himalayan Trail (GHT), one of the country’s many new tourism offerings.