Government needs to play a supporting role, necessary for NTB to be a ‘good partner’ with media: American journalist Noel

Reporters Club Event: “Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) must make sure that they are a good partner with journalists, and be a strong ally,” said freelance professional journalist and the founder and executive director of Clean Drink Adventures Christophe Noel.

The special interaction program that was organized at the Reporters Club was presided over by senior journalist and the president of the Reporters Club Rishi Dhamala.

Noel spoke about the role of media, and how Nepal with its resources and further exploration in new tourist destinations could attract potential visitors with VISIT NEPAL 2020 less than a month away.

In the program, Noel stressed the importance of the media in making people aware of the available places to visit and provide information which will attract people. “They know of Khumbu, Annapurna, Pokhara, and Chitwan, they do not know much about any place else, the only way this is going to happen is if the tourists know of other places to visit,” he said.

Noel has been involved in providing clean drinking water in remote communities in Nepal through his organization Clean Drink Adventures. The organization was also involved in similar projects in Ecuador. The water project is currently active in the areas of Banke, Surkhet, and Jajarjot district.

He spoke about the importance and the power that media has in order to attract more tourists to the country. “We are storytellers, motivate people through action, if we tell them stories about Mustang, Jumla, those are powerful things, use your experience, you have the power to direct them, to tell them where to go”

In the program, he spoke about the 4 essentials A’s for driving tourism into the country. Attractions, Access, Accommodation, and Advertising were the fundamental and most crucial tools. Noel stressed on the importance of the media in telling the story of Nepal to the rest of the world, creating awareness about the humongous opportunities in the country for a decent holiday. “Media plays an important part in letting the world know where to go,” he said.

Noel who is now exploring new routes and places is confident of Nepal’s natural beauty to attract tourists. An experienced mountain biker having competed in over 500 bicycle races, he has seen much of the western parts of Nepal. He felt the need for the government to be effective in a ‘supporting role’. He spoke about the importance of the government to support journalists to tell their story, “sending them to places in Nepal. Support in improving the conditions of the airport, roads, attractions, and have an accessible means to get to the place.

Noel finally also spoke about the necessity of the NTB to partner with media and journalists. “NTB needs to make sure that they are a good partner with journalists, tour companies, hotels, government agencies, and work with the resources,” he said. He also spoke of the responsibility of the partners and holding them accountable for their work. The program was conducted by Tara Karki.