I want to serve my prior knowledge and experience at FNCCI - Khum Subedi
19March 2023 , Khum Bahadur Subedi is the past president of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN), and is the Managing Director of Unique Adventure International Pvt. Ltd; Triple A holidays and Triple A Transports.
He has been involved in the Nepalese tourism sector for the past 3 decades. We interview Subedi over his candidacy for the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI) and his how he will stand up for the tourism sector as its member.
What differences can you see in the tourism sector now compared to that of 30 years before?
The Nepalese tourism industry formally began in 1953. But it has taken a very long time for the industry to penetrate every corner of the country. Here, tourism started out as trekking, mountaineering, and rafting. Now the span of the tourism industry is much wider. Homestays, jungle safaris, heritage tours, adventure sports etc. are relatively new but equally important additions to the industry.
The industry has changed with time. Technology has transformed the way the industry operates. Business climate of tourism has also improved. And, the industry has created so many employment opportunities. The industry is much more competitive than it used to be.
What is the condition of tourism today?
Technology-wise, the use of information technology, especially by the younger generation has drastically changed the tourism landscape of Nepal.
Looking at the macro environment, tourism has suffered from one crisis after another in quick succession. Since last autumn, the industry has slowly started to recover from the aftereffects of COVID. Greater than expected number of tourists visited Nepal during the season. Business operations have restarted. Hopefully, this spring will be better. It is our hope that the tourism industry will emerge stronger and with more promise after the crisis brought about by the COVID pandemic.
Your reason behind candidacy at FNCCI?
I see it as an exchange of experience. I want to serve my prior knowledge and experience at FNCCI, where it can be of use, and want to acquire new and relevant knowledge and experience from my term at FNCCI. I believe that my experience with TAAN and other businesses will be valuable to other businesses, the tourism sector and the government.
I wish to represent the entire tourism industry, not just trekking, at FNCCI and advocate for it. I will work with senior business people, businessmen from other sectors and the chairman to communicate, promote and establish the importance of tourism through FNCCI. With the objective of bridging interrelations between tourism and other sectors, I have given my candidacy for FNCCI.
What is your opinion on the popular belief that FNCCI does not value tourism?
It is true that tourism was somewhat neglected by FNCCI in the past. It was left in the shadow compared to other sectors. Their view of the tourism industry used to be limited to hotels only. In recent times that has changed. Now, FNCCI’s purview of tourism is much broader, but still not complete. During my term at FNCCI, I wish to paint the holistic picture of tourism at the federation. Realization of the objectives, agendas etc. of the tourism industry is more probable with the support of FNCCI. One of the major reasons for my candidacy at FNCCI is to establish tourism industry as a priority.
According to you, what kind of organization is FNCCI?
I see FNCCI as an integral limb of the government. It represents the businesses and businesspeople of the country. We know that industry and commerce lie at the core of every nation. Through FNCCI, important issues and agendas affecting the nation are raised and discussed. In a way, one function of FNCCI is to guide the state. Also, it is the place where sharing and accumulation of knowledge and expertise of businesspeople from different sectors happen. This accumulated knowledge benefits businesses, people and the country alike.
There is an incomplete understanding in the public that only the government is responsible for the nation’s development. That is not true. Businesspeople like us too have an important role to play. We mobilize the economy through industries and businesses, create employment to the youths, innovate and develop technology, contribute to infrastructure development, and advocate for better business and investment climate in the country. We also play a crucial part in the development of the nation.