8 Jan, Australia – Visit Nepal Year 2020 was inaugurated on 7 Jan 2020 at Circular Quay, the premium national and international tourist attraction site of Sydney.
Among the hot topics in the social media yesterday, was the timing of the inauguration program while the Australian Fire Disaster is still fresh. Point to be noted here is that the program date and venue was fixed long before the disaster occurred.
Visit Nepal 2020 is the signature program of Government of Nepal to attract more visitors in Nepal and promote tourism. The Embassy of Nepal, Consulate Offices, Non Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), the peak diaspora organisation of Nepal and the wider Nepalese community are playing active role to assist the cause of VNY 2020 and promoting the theme globally. Inauguration program was kicked off yesterday in major cities of many countries around the world. Minister of Tourism responded to the invitation of Embassy of Nepal to attend this program in Sydney. NRNA, Consulate offices, media were all part of it, in the making of this program alongside other stakeholders of the community.
The date (7 Jan) came nearby. The bushfire disaster also intensified. There were several discussions around whether this program should be called off or postponed. Different opinions were put forward, however, the concluding view was to go ahead with the VNY inauguration program, however, maintain the sensitivity of the timing (the fire effect), be mindful of not soliciting anyone, not to distribute flyers and not provoke or inflict any offending behaviours, invite or involved in raising funds for the bushfire cause involving recognised charities etc. Some of the programs that were planned ahead such as cultural parade, music etc were cancelled.
Upon concluding the planned launch and many of the audiences going home, some of the volunteers in the crowd led the crowd and the minister for walking towards Opera House from Circular Quay, which is about 150 meters walk off street. Because of the number of people in one group, two security guards of opera house precinct stopped the crowd and asked to wait while they called the management. Their rationale was, the size of crowd and some people wearing visit Nepal t-shirts, which is, in effect inviting for business, required them to talk to their management in two-way radio. Eventually, many including the minister went towards the Opera house, some went home.
It was normal, natural dialogue, it happens everywhere in everyday circumstances, security people asking relevant questions. Even the priminister of this country is not exempt of such treatment. We, as participants, are witness of the whole thing. Program went well, people were considerate of the situation. It was mentioned everywhere of the recent disaster and Nepalese community’s contribution and willingness to be part of the relief. Many high profile dignitaries and representatives of the Australian community participated in the program. The evening program at the Parliament was very good. Some incredible success stories doing tourism business with Nepal and sending people there with a bigger purpose was very touchy feely.
On this note, we must thank the Embassy of Nepal, Consul Generals Offices, NRNA, the wider Nepalese community, Media and Business Community and the Dignitaries and the distinguished guests that attended, participated and contributed to the Visit Nepal 2020 events. There is no right or wrong on this, having regard and respect to our institutions, community is something, we all, always do. Now the VNY 2020 has kicked off, let’s do what we can do in our part to help more than 100,000 people from Australia to visit Nepal in 2020, for recreation, Himalayan expedition, adventure, natural healing and much more. Let’s all unite as a wider community to do, as much as we can, to participate in relief and volunteering in the bush fire ordeal. God bless us all.