KATHMANDU, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The third edition of "Himalayan Travel Mart 2019" has kicked off in Nepal under the theme "Nepal, Gateway to the Himalayas" to promote tourism of the Himalayan country.
Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on Thursday inaugurated the tourism gala event which aims to facilitate networking and business opportunities among global tourism and hospitality organizations and individuals.
"Such events are important to help Nepal to achieve the national goal of Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali," the prime minister said while addressing the show, adding that the event would contribute to upgrade the status of Nepal from the least developed country to a developing country.
He also took the occasion to mention that Himalayas are important for the earth and whole mankind, and called out for joint efforts to save them.
This year, over 400 representatives from around 40 countries including Nepal are participating in the four-day event organized by Nepal Tourism Board in association with Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal chapter and different tourism related organizations.
The event comes at a time when Nepal is marking 2020 as Visit Nepal Year with a target of welcoming 2 million foreign tourists.
In 2018, Nepal received 1.1 million foreign tourists among which China and India were the biggest tourism source markets.
According to the organizer, the premium tourism mart brings together international tourism experts, professionals, influencers, renowned adventurers, and national and international thought leaders and industry stakeholders. They will be discussing contemporary issues, trends, challenges and opportunities for the development of Himalayan tourism under different sessions.
The event will conclude on Sunday.