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Offbeat destinations make debut at NATAS travel fair
Paige Lee Pei Qi, Singapore, July 31, 2015

NATAS Holidays 2015 opened its doors to over 86 exhibitors this morning, featuring exotic and culturally rich destinations like Bhutan, Uzbekistan and Nepal.


Emphasising how the fair is leveraging its “carnival-like” atmosphere with cultural dances and performances from Indonesia, Bhutan and Guilin, Devinder Ohri, president of NATAS, said these “exciting entertainment programmes” will help create an experience and attract visitors.


Credit: Paige Lee Pei Qi


Marking its debut at the travel fair, the Nepal Tourism Board is keen to let the public know that the country is safe for travel again, said Sudhan Subedi, the board’s tourism product and resources development officer.


Speaking to TTG Asia e-Daily, Subedi said: “A majority of our hotels and restaurants are back in operation. There are many beautiful and captivating cultural and natural sites that are actually unaffected by the earthquake.


“Out of 75 districts in Nepal, only 11 districts are damaged and we are hopeful to see travellers coming back again.”


According to Subedi, Nepal's top three visitor markets are India, China and the US, but the numbers have plunged since the earthquake.


“But we are optimistic that tourism will pick up again with greater awareness made about (the safety of) the destination,” he added.


Bhutan, which is exhibiting at NATAS for the first time, earlier declared 2015 as Visit Bhutan Year to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of the king. As such, hotels and tour operators are dangling special offers and promotions to coincide with this celebratory year.


Margaret Loh, managing director of Airelated Travel, said: “Traditionally our top three selling destinations are South Korea, Japan and Taiwan especially for the families during the year-end holidays.


“For the more exotic destinations like Nepal and Bhutan, it will be either for the FITs or the more seasoned, adventurous travellers who know what they want in a trip,” she said.


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