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Siliguri: Two prominent bodies of tourism service operators from north Bengal and Nepal have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost transborder tourism in the eastern Himalaya region.

Eastern Himalaya region spans over north Bengal, Sikkim, parts of Assam, eastern Nepal and Bhutan.

The MoU was today inked in Siliguri between the Eastern Himalaya Travel & Tour Operators Association (EHTTOA) and the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA).

The MoU aims to boost tourism by facilitating the creation of tourism infrastructure in the two countries through public-private partnerships, joint promotion of tourist destinations, operational co-operation to address obstacles in the movement of tourists, and joint preservation of the environment for tourism, etc.

Commenting on the development, EHTTOA secretary, Sandipan Ghosh, said that “the MoU will provide networking opportunities and act as a learning platform to boost transborder tourism activities. In the future, we aim at inking a similar agreement with our counterparts in Bhutan and Bangladesh.”

Bhupal Raj Shrestha, the president of NATTA East observed that the MoU will be beneficial to both the countries as it will help increase tourist flow and in turn, generate employment.

“To capitalise the global changes one should prepare in advance and we at NATTA being one of the premier associations, initiate the move for we are just 25-km away from Siliguri,” he said.

Both EHTTOA and NATTA see the possibility of an immense rise in international tourists to the region once the Asian Highway becomes fully operational and Manasarovar Yatra gains pace.

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