Sunday, March 8, 2009

Interaction on Role of Women in Tourism organized in Pokhara Press Release

Interaction on Role of Women in Tourism organized in Pokhara Press Release
February 18, 2009

An interaction on 'Women mainstreaming in Tourism' was organized in Pokhara on February 18, 2009 to discuss the role of women in the tourism industry of Nepal commemorating the forthcoming Women's Day. Organised by Nepal Tourism Board, women from different walks of life coming from Kashi, Gorkha and Lamjung actively participated the interaction and sought their role in tourism in the present context.

Addressing the interaction Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Ms. Hisila Yami said that the women are the base of tourism industry in Nepal and their role should be redefined in the new Nepal. "Involvement of women in tourism will create sustainability in tourism and there should be good coordination among old and new women tourism entrepreneurs to increase the participation of women in tourism and to exchange their ideas and experience ", she said. Minister Yami further said that effort has been there to put tourism in Special Economic Zone which would help develop and promote tourism in places like Pokhara because it would provide special leverage to conduct business in that area. " History has given women an opportunity to improve their status and tourism industry is the where there is good opportunity and we should not miss it out."

Mrs. Ambika Shrestha, senior woman tourism entrepreneurs and managing director of Hotel Dwarika's, in her address, said that women must not ask for reservation but for equal right and opportunity. Sharing her four decade long experience in tourism, she said women have now become successful in many areas and told the participants to be the employer of the tourism business, not employee. Ms. Lucky Chettri of Three Sister Adventure Trekking said that there are exploitation of women in tourism but tourism could be a tool of poverty alleviation if women are given role to play in tourism. Giving the examples of a few successful women in Nepalese tourism, she said women do not need sympathy, they need education and opportunity. Another paper presenter, Ms. Jagan Gurung of Annapurna Conservation Area Project(ACAP)shared her two decade long experience in ACAP saying that women are still not the owner of tourism business despite their hard work running tea shop and house in trekking areas.

Ms. Brinda Hada, Secretary of Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare summing up the whole papers presented in the interaction said that over the last few years, many reforms were made to involve women in different strata of government machinery and other areas but in reality only 25% was implemented. She further said women must come out to get the benefit that system has given to them. "Tourism is one of the few areas that has good scope for women to develop," she said.

Mr. Agni Kandel, Board Member, Nepal Tourism Board and Mr. Bacchu Ram Tiwari, Presdisent of Pokhara Tourism Council also made comment on the role of women in tourism. Women participants requested Minister Yami to create favourable environment for women in tourism industry so that they could free compete with men.

In a press meet organized just after the interaction, Minister for Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Ms. Hisila Yami explained about role of women in new tourism policy. She also requested media to lobby for the promotion and development of Pokhara from their side.

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