Happy Dashain Festival

Happy Dashain Festival in Nepal

Happy Dashain Festival in Nepal

The Dashain Festival is also celebrated by Hindus and Nepalese in practically every other part of the planet where they live. In Nepal, Dashain is the longest and most notable festival on the calendar, and many Nepalese expatriates actually return to Nepal specifically to observe Dashain Festival in their homeland.

Fulpati at Dashain Festival Nepal

Fulpati at Dashain Festival Nepal

Dashain runs from the “bright moon” until the full moon in the Hindu month of Ashvin, lasting for 15 days. On the gregorian calendar, it falls in either September or October, varying from year to year due to the differences between a lunar versus a solar based time-keeping system. During Dashain, many Nepalese businesses and public buildings will be closed, so the tourist will need to plan ahead carefully.

Flying Kites

People Kite fly highly decorative kites from their roof tops and elsewhere and shout out “Changa Cheit” whenever kite strings get tangled.

Dashain is celebrated to mark the victory, according to Hindu religious writings, of Ramayan over the evil demon-king, Ravana, and over the demon Mahisasur, who cruelly terrorised the people of India in the form of a raging water buffalo. The Hindu goddess Durga was said to be instrumental in winning these victories, so she is especially worshiped at this time. In general, the holiday season of Dashain is a celebration of “the triumph of good over evil,” though it is tied to specific Hindu stories.

Dashain Festival

Dashain Festival

Dashain Traditions

The people of Nepal celebrate Dashain with great festivity. Some of their traditions associated with the holiday include the following:

  • Kites a flown as Dashain Festival draws near and during the festival. People fly highly decorative kites from their roof tops and elsewhere and shout out “Changa Cheit” whenever kite strings get tangled.
  • Playing card games is common during Dashain. Families get together to play for both money and for fun. While all ages take part in kite-flying, kids usually are out flying their kites while adults play the card games.
  • Homes are cleaned thoroughly and decorated ornately. This is meant to be a gesture to the Hindu “mother goddess” to come down and bless the home with good luck. Distant family members also gather and enjoy reunions in the clean and beautiful houses.
  • Many purchase new clothing and wear it at this time of year. Those who live in dire poverty don their best clothing and may buy clothes at few other times of the year besides Dashain.
  • Temporary swings are constructed out of bamboo and set up for children to play at. Adults even stop to try out the swings, which can be up to 20 feet high. They are disassembled at the end of the festivities.
  • Literally thousands of animal sacrifices are made, including buffalo, rams, and ducks. They are meant to appease Hindu goddesses and are sacrificed at temples all over the country. Many also rise early in the mornings and visit temples to worship various gods.
  • Since Dashain Festival arrives just after the harvest, there is much rice and grain in homes at this time of year. Worshipers use pigmented, red rice, called “tika,” to mark their foreheads. Some also mark them with a white circle instead, however.
Dashain Tika

Dashain Tika

Some things for tourists to look for and take part in if in Nepal for Dashain Festival include these three:

  • Attend numerous small fairs held in Nepalese villages, which often have Ferris wheels and other rides and entertainment. In major cities, like Kathmandu, you can expect to find larger fairs with more options.
  • Listen to Nepalese musical programs held at this time of year. There is “Dashain music” as surely as there is Christmas music, and it is called “Mal Shree Dhun.” In the Terai and Madhesh regions, you will especially find many musical opportunities.
  • Observe Dashain processions through the “three royal cities” of the Kathmandu Valley. The spectacle is very colorful and busily attended. It has a religious bases, for it involves the carrying of numerous statues of Hindu gods.

Source: Publicholidays

Signs that proves Nepali Tourism Industry is reviving

I AM IN NEPAL NOW

I AM IN NEPAL NOW

The earthquake of 2015 and the trade embargo by India over the promulgation of the charter alienating the ethnic Madhesis group hit hard the Nepali tourism sector. But after a couple of years the tourism of industry is standing back. Here are the signs that proves Nepali tourism industry is reviving.

Increasing numbers of Hotels:

According to the data of the Tourism Department a total of 5 hundred and 85 tourist hotels are registered amongst which 10 are the five star rated. The Everest Hotel in Kathmandu is out of track after the earthquake in 2015.

Likewise, there are 3 four star, 31 three star, 43 two star, 33 one star and 4 hundred 65 tourist hotels. Along with this 2 hundred 27 homestays also has registered itself in the tourism department.

The flow of Tourists

According to the data from the Immigration Department of Nepal on 2016 a year after the major setback for the Nepali tourism industry about 7 Lakhs 29 Thousand 5 Hundred and 50 tourists came to Nepal. The Hotel Association of Nepal has set the target of increasing capacity of the hotels to hold 1. 8 Million Tourists by 2020. Within the 3 years the hotels in the Nepal are set to add about 4 thousand rooms to meet the target, half of these rooms are set to be added in the hotels of capital Kathmandu. This significantly will employ more people as one tourist can give employment opportunity to 12 people. In addition to it the Government of Nepal is set to announce the upcoming year as Tourism year.

The investment in the Tourism Sector of Nepal

The tourism sector of Nepal till now has investment of about 2 Hundred and 50 Billion rupees and 33 Billion rupees are in pipeline, set to be added. Amongst the tourism sectors the hotel or the hospitality sector of the Nepal is the major aspect to invite the tourists. Undermining the importance of the tourism an injection of 83 Billion Rupees is sure for the tourism sector of Nepal in coming 3 years. Amongst this the Government will be investing 8 Billion rupees and the private sector will share the remaining portion.

Employment by Tourism

Hotel Association Nepal’s President Amar man Shakya claims that the tourism sector of Nepal has created job opportunity to over 5 Lakhs people which is significant hike after the major setbacks in 2015.

Source: Tourismmail

NEPAL CHINA SALES MISSION 2017

In conjunction with the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) is organizing Nepal China Sales Mission 2017 in four different cities of China: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Beijing from 07th June through 17th June 2017.

NEPAL CHINA SALES MISSION 2017

NEPAL CHINA SALES MISSION 2017

NATTA’s Promotion in China Ends

Nepal Association of Tour & Travel Agents (NATTA) has finally blown the bugle of Nepal Promotion in China in Beijing on 14th June afternoon at Hotel Sun World in the gracious presence of chief guest HE Ambassador of Nepal for PR China Leelamani Poudyal, special guest General Secretary of China Chamber of Tourism Xu Lejiang, and high level officials and about sixty-five Chinese tour operators and media representatives and local tourism dignitaries. The program began with welcome address by Nepal’s Ambassador and audio-visual presentations on Nepal’s tourism attractions which seem to have lured the Chinese tour operators a lot. Nepal Tourism Board also presented a short narrative on Nepal Tourism and that was followed by show of Documentaries on Nepal’s cultural and natural heritages. Then the floor was declared open for queries from the Chinese operators and media, the queries from the Chinese side reflected their great interest in planning visit to Nepal with friends and families in the near future. President NATTA Madhu Sudan Acharya answered all the queries raised and gave his concluding remarks. The B2B session that followed was quite lively and all the Nepalese travel trade entrepreneurs were attended personally by the Chinese operators. They collected various information as to how the potential travelers to Nepal could make their trip relatively   easier and comfortable.

NEPAL CHINA SALES MISSION 2017

NEPAL CHINA SALES MISSION 2017

Speaking on the occasion Ambassador Poudyal stressed on the fact that Nepal and China were closely connected geographically as well as culturally. He further said, Nepal-China relationships are based on the five principles of peaceful co-existence. Nepal has great expectations for a socio-economic transformation from China’s initiation of OBOR already signed by Nepal, he added. He also hinted on the importance of Lumbini for Chinese Buddhists as it is the Birthplace of Shakyamuni Buddha. Ambassador Poudyal gave eight reasons why Chinese citizens should travel to Nepal.

Xu Lejiang, general secretary of China Chamber of Tourism committed to support Nepal in its efforts to gain more of Chinese tourists in Nepal. He also said that soon CCT and NATTA will be jointly introducing strategies to promote Nepal in China.

NEPAL CHINA SALES MISSION 2017

NEPAL CHINA SALES MISSION 2017

NATTA President Acharya underscored the importance of tourism not only as a business but also as a bridge to bring the people of both the countries to a close proximity. Acharya referred to the challenges confronted by tourism industry of Nepal in the recent past and the measures adopted to eliminate those challenges by way of raising the image of the country as a most coveted destination among the people of the region and globally as well. He also pointed out about the second International airport in offing and the addition of new aircrafts for Nepal Airlines which will be operating to China. Tourism to-day is looked at as an industry of national priority, he added.

NEPAL CHINA SALES MISSION 2017

NEPAL CHINA SALES MISSION 2017

NATTA had earlier launched China Sales Mission-2017 in Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hangzhou on 8th, 9th and 12th June. NATTA has been promoting Nepal in China on regular basis with the support of NTB for the last several years.

Source: NATTA

Nepal tourism makes spectacular rebound

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Foreign tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 39.71 percent to 753,002 in 2016, boosted by robust visitor growth from India, China, the US, the UK and Sri Lanka, according to the statistics of the Department of Immigration.

However, 2016 arrivals are still 4.69 percent down from 2014 when the country welcomed 790,118 foreign visitors. The tourism boom is expected to continue in 2017 and remains a major growth driver for the economy even as the industry sees low overseas promotional activities.

October, November and December have been the most productive months for the industry, accounting for nearly one-third of total arrivals.

Tourist at Nepal

“It’s a dramatic growth. The industry is returning rapidly to its pre-earthquake growth level,” said Kedar Neupane, director general of the Department of Immigration. “The tourism boom is expected to continue in 2017 given a level of promotion by Nepal in the major source markets.”

He said that if the government, Nepal Tourism Board and private sector conducted aggressive promotional activities, this year could be an extraordinary year. “We can expect 1 million tourists in 2017 considering the current environment.”

Neupane said that Nepal could see a boom in Chinese arrivals this year following the move by the Chinese government to encourage travel to the country. China has announced Nepal Tourism Promotion Year 2017 in a bid to encourage its citizens to visit the Himalayan republic, according to the Nepal Embassy in Beijing.

Travelling in Nepal

“The industry carried out massive marketing activities in major source markets after the earthquakes, leading to a massive recovery,” said tourism entrepreneur Basant Raj Mishra. “The arrival of foreign volunteers as well as conferences held by I/NGOs in Nepal last year propelled growth.”

Suman Pandey, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter, said that 2017 looked promising; but the crumbling Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Nepal’s only international aerial gateway, could be a major setback.

“The hospitality industry in Nepal can accommodate more than 3 million tourists, but the airport is already choked with capacity constraints even though arrivals are way short of the one million mark,” he said.

TIA is currently served by 28 international carriers, and it has announced that it cannot accommodate more flights. “What does this statement mean? Of course, Nepal has become an attractive holiday destination for travellers, but TIA will remain the main obstacle to the growth of the industry.”

Nepal received a lot of media exposure following the earthquake which has aroused tremendous interest among potential travelers.

The world’s leading travel guide Lonely Planet has named Nepal the world’s ‘best value destination’ for 2017. Likewise, Nepal’s Langtang region has been featured in The New York Times ‘52 places to go in 2017’ list.

Nepal has also appeared in the January travel issue of chinadaily.com.cn. “Nepal remains a fabulous choice for budget-conscious travelers, whether it’s the country’s world famous trekking routes or the wildlife in the southern region. Travel costs per day are as low as $50 on average,” it said.

A breakdown of arrivals by market shows Indian travellers at the top of the list. Arrivals from the southern neighbour reached 118,249 last year, up 57.40 percent. Chinese tourist arrivals jumped 55.26 percent to 104,005. Travel trade entrepreneurs said that Chinese arrivals did not increase as expected last year as the key entry point,

Tatopani Customs in Sindhupalchok, was closed after the earthquake. However, Rasuwagadhi has emerged as an important surface route with 23,452 Chinese visitors entering the country through this point last year.

Meanwhile, visitors from the US, Sri Lanka and the UK jumped 25.67 percent, 29.64 percent and 55.71 percent respectively.

Source: Kathmandu Post

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017 kicks off in Kathmandu

The International Travel Bloggers and Media Conference kicked off here in the capital on Thursday.

This is the first time that the conference has been organised in the country to promote the message in the global tourism market that Nepal is the gateway to the Himalayas. The theme of the conference is – Nepal Gateway to the Himalaya.

Taking part in the meet are 107 travel bloggers from 33 countries, 70 travel and tourism-related experts and more than 100 journalists from various countries.

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

In the biggest tourism event ever, held at Budhanilkantha in the capital, the participants shared knowledge and experience regarding the tourism products of their respective countries, the use of digital media and the new practices in the field.

Experts from various countries shared information on the tourism market, tourism products and ways of promoting both.

Some 500 people from home and abroad participated in the conference organized by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter as the executive organizer, the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation as the host and Nepal Tourism Board as the main organizer.

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

Minister for Health Gagan Kumar Thapa, inaugurating the conference, said that the conference, organised with a new vision of tourism and a long-term goal, would play a key role in promoting Nepal’s tourism in the world market.

He opined that Nepal’s tourism would be much benefited from the promotional programme through this international level conference in the context of the Nepali tourism market with high potentials in terms of natural, geographical and cultural aspects not been reaping the expected benefits.

He also stressed the need of the government and the private sector to work together for further promoting the country’s tourism.

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board, Deepak Raj Joshi, highlighting the potentialities of Nepal’s tourism market, reiterated that the conference would be useful in giving a new message to the global tourism market.

PATA CEO Mario Hardy described the conference as the appropriate forum for promoting new tourism product in the global tourism by exploring the avenues for nature and culture tourism of Nepal, a country of the Himalayas.

PATA Nepal Chapter president Suman Pandey said that the conference has been organized with the objective of promoting Nepal’s tourism throughout the world through digital media.

Health Minister Thapa also launched the special issue of Himalaya Travel Magazine on the occasion.

Source: Tourismmail

Nepalese tourism stakeholders want competitive air fare between Nepal and China

Nepal Airlines

Nepal Airlines

Nepalese tourism stakeholders on Wednesday stressed on making air travel between Nepal and China cheaper to promote bilateral tourism, arguing that air transport between the two neighbors is one of the most expensive in the world.

They said at an interaction on the theme of Silk Road Tourism between Nepal and China, organized by China National Tourist Office and Nepal China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCCI) that potential growth of Chinese tourists to Nepal has been hindered by higher air fare and relatively low air connectivity.

China is the Nepal’s second largest source market for tourists after India since 2010. Nepal welcomed 104,005 Chinese tourists in 2016 as arrivals surged by 55.26 percent on year-on-year basis after disastrous 2015 due to deadly earthquake and subsequent blockade in southern border points of Nepal, according to the data of Department of Immigration of Nepal.

NCCCI President Rajesh Kaji Shrestha said that air ticket for Kathmandu-Guangzhou is more expensive than travelling through the Kathmandu-Bangkok-Guangzhou. “Travelling Kathmandu to Kunming is costlier than India’s Kolkata’s to Kunming. Price must be competitive to attract more Chinese tourists to Nepal,” he said.

Currently, four Chinese airlines — China Southern, China Eastern, Sichuan Airline and Air China are serving Kathmandu to Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu and Lhasa respectively.

China Air

China Air

Shrestha said that there should be direct air connectivity between Kathmandu and Beijing, Shanghai to attract more Chinese tourists. Nepal’s national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation is also serving Kathmandu-Hong Kong route currently and also has plan to reach Chinese mainland.

Sunil Sharma, officiating director of Nepal Tourism Board, the main tourism promotion body of Nepal, said that the board has been consistently promoting Nepal’s tourism in China but travel cost has been hindering the potential of Chinese tourist arrivals to Nepal.

Nepalese stakeholders also asked China to ease travel for tourist through land route too, particularly through bordering Geelong port which is currently only international trade route between the two countries.

Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said that China was promoting Nepal’s tourism under the Year of Tourism for Nepal 2017 in line with the joint statement signed in 2016.

Source: Travel News Nepal