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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tourists being charged up to USD 20 for trolleys at TIA

With the news of high fraud cases happening at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), a new issue has emerged enforcing a forceful payment of up to USD 20 by the porters for the use of trolleys for tourists at international section of TIA. Lighting the issue, people are bound to pay the money for the use of trolley where the so-called trolleys are made available by TIA management for free but the porters are misusing the trolleys forcing and illegally collecting money for the use of trolleys. The issue has popped in when many tourism associations such as NATTA, TAAN and HAN has been raising questions of the conditions of trolleys at TIA, saying that most of them are out or order and needed immediate replacements. These associations are also soon to donate some trolleys to TIA as a part of their social corporate responsibility. On contrary, Tek Chandra Pokheral, Chairman of Shangrila Tours and Travel said, “Recently, the Japanese ambassador was charged US $ 20 for using the trolley. The question here is not about paying the money; the question here is about legality and the carelessness of the management. It’s the worst case scenario as a lot of our customers have complained about the problem. It might seem as a small problem but in our scenario where individual marketing stands potent, it is going to impact our tourism very negatively. Moreover, looking at the present situation, it seems the security personnel and staff members are also involved with the group because this cannot happen unknowingly in a prioritized place of such importance. Though we have been raising our voice but till date it hasn’t been heard.” “To curb the problem, TIA management should restrict such people and monitor its area providing better service to the arrivals,” added he. Ram Kaji Koney, President of Nepal Association of Travel Agents Nepal Association of Tour and Travel (NATTA) said, “TIA is an essential part of our tourism as it the place where tourists get the first impression of our country. If people are illegally charging money for the use of free trolleys at TIA, it is very unfortunate for every one of us and a shameful act that one can ever imagine to happen at TIA. NATTA strongly condemns such act of indecency. It is totally wrong and the TIA authority should take strict action against such extorters.” He further added, “We have already allotted the budget for the 20 trolleys which in near future would be handed over to TIA but we expect them to be used properly.” Likewise, looking at the availability of police and management staff, the current happenings at the international section seems more complex and complicated issue where tourism experts and entrepreneurs are blaming the carelessness of the TIA Management. T. R. Manandhar, General Manager at TIA, Civil Aviation Office said, “We are the coordinating body where we have our priorities and we follow accordingly. We have always focused on rendering high services and facilities to the arrivals but at time the irregularities impedes us where we are doing necessary exercise to correct it.” “Looking at the shortage of trolley, we have already called for tenders in the Rising Nepal for additional 500 trolleys. Though the different associations have committed to donate trolleys, we have not received them yet. We need to improve the image of TIA where all the stakeholders should coordinate including security forces in order to overcome all our difficulties,” added he.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Publication: Nepal Traveller Publication
Magzine: Nepal Travel Trade Reporter
Date of issue: November 15-30, 2008
Issue no: 3
Page no: 1


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