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

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

American in bid to set Himalayan trail record

  • ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP TREK - 15 DAYS
    ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP TREK - 15 DAYS
    This trek is the one of best views of annapurna range, nilgiri , Dhaulagiri , Tukuche peak , Dhampus peak , Hiunchuli ,Machhapuchhre , Gangapurna, Lamjung Himal other many more greatest views of mountains you never seen before.
  • KATHMANDU-POKHARA-CHITWAN TOUR (BY FLY/LAND)- 07 NIGHTS 08 DAYS
    KATHMANDU-POKHARA-CHITWAN TOUR (BY FLY/LAND)- 07 NIGHTS 08 DAYS
    Nepal, the land of splendid nature and rich culture is waiting for you exploration through its different facets.
  • DAMODAR KUND TOUR BY HELICOPTER - 05 NIGHTS 06 DAYS
    DAMODAR KUND TOUR BY HELICOPTER - 05 NIGHTS 06 DAYS
    Many Hindus from round the globe are dreaming to take a holy bath at least once in their life time in the sacred Damodar-Kund
  • 08 DAYS 07 NIGHTS NEPAL TRIP:  KATHMANDU 3N, CHITWAN 2N, POKHARA 2N
    08 DAYS 07 NIGHTS NEPAL TRIP: KATHMANDU 3N, CHITWAN 2N, POKHARA 2N
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    EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK - 17 DAYS
    Sagamartha (Everest) Base Camp trek takes us into one of the most spectacular regions of Nepal where the Sherpa culture thrives amongst the highest peaks in the world.
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    KAILASH MANSAROVAR YATRA BY OVERLAND - 14 DAYS
    Mt. Kailash (6714m) is the most sacred mountain in Asia.
  • KAILASH YATRA BY HELICOPTER VIA NEPALGUNJ/SIMIKOT/HILSA/TAKLAKOT - 11 DAYS
    KAILASH YATRA BY HELICOPTER VIA NEPALGUNJ/SIMIKOT/HILSA/TAKLAKOT - 11 DAYS
    Mt. Kailash, the sacred mountain and the abode of the Hindu god Shiva is one of the world's greatest pilgrimage destinations especially for Hindus, Buddhist, Jains and others.
  • MUKTINATH TOUR BY LAND/FLIGHT
    MUKTINATH TOUR BY LAND/FLIGHT
    Muktinath is one of the most ancient Hindu temples of God Vishnu.

Martin Coleman, a climber from Colorado in the US, said he was attempting to cross the Great Himalayan Trail in record time this spring. “On March 17, I’ll be leaving for Nepal to complete the Great Himalayan Trail.

It is 1,250 miles from the border with India to the border with Tibet. I am taking the route that was used to set the record for the traverse and it will involve more than 2.6 million steps and more than 500,000 feet of elevation change,” he said. Not many people have ever completed the traverse and typical times are five months. The record for the traverse is 49 days 6 hours and 8 minutes.

Source: The Himalayan Times

Kathmandu City Ready for SAARC Conference

The ongoing solar street lamp installation project in the Capital city is expected to be completed by the first week of November. To that end, the authorities concerned have been working round the clock putting up the lamp posts and installing the solar-powered lights. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been installing solar lights on major streets and thoroughfares of Kathmandu, with the target of accomplishing the project before the Saarc summit.

Kathmandu City Ready for SAARC Conference

Kathmandu City Ready for SAARC Conference

“We have been directed to complete the installation works on the assigned stretches three weeks before the summit. We are working day and night to meet the deadline,” said Bhanubhakta Bhattarai, chief at the NEA central branch. NEA has prepared a blueprint for first phase of the project. It is comprised of some major routes: Tribhuvan International Airport to Maitighar, Thapathali to Soaltee Mode, Maitighar to City Hall and Tundikhel to Ranipokhari

Similarly, the stretch from Tripureshwor to Jamal will also to be equipped with solar street lamps before the Saarc summit. “All these stretches are to be completed before the Saarc summit before we move on to the second phase of the project which will complete next year,” said Bhattarai.

Kathmandu City Ready for SAARC Conference

Participating Country of SAARC Conference

The project is part of the Kathmandu city beautification plan concocted by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC). While NEA has taken the responsibility of installing solar lamps on most of the major routes, KMC will only be overseeing the project being launched at Kesharmahal-Maharajgunj road. “It is because of the budget issues,” said Sanjay Raj Upadhyay, chief of the Road Department at KMC. “The government committed budget for the Saarc beautification is very tight.

Hence KMC will be supervising only one route.” The government has committed Rs 85 million to the KMC for city beautification project. A lion share of the budget will be spent on the solar light installation at Kesharmahal-Maharajgunj road.

Source: Nepalmountainnews

KAILASH FIXED DEPARTURE for 2015

  • ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP TREK - 15 DAYS
    ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP TREK - 15 DAYS
    This trek is the one of best views of annapurna range, nilgiri , Dhaulagiri , Tukuche peak , Dhampus peak , Hiunchuli ,Machhapuchhre , Gangapurna, Lamjung Himal other many more greatest views of mountains you never seen before.
  • KATHMANDU-POKHARA-CHITWAN TOUR (BY FLY/LAND)- 07 NIGHTS 08 DAYS
    KATHMANDU-POKHARA-CHITWAN TOUR (BY FLY/LAND)- 07 NIGHTS 08 DAYS
    Nepal, the land of splendid nature and rich culture is waiting for you exploration through its different facets.
  • DAMODAR KUND TOUR BY HELICOPTER - 05 NIGHTS 06 DAYS
    DAMODAR KUND TOUR BY HELICOPTER - 05 NIGHTS 06 DAYS
    Many Hindus from round the globe are dreaming to take a holy bath at least once in their life time in the sacred Damodar-Kund
  • 08 DAYS 07 NIGHTS NEPAL TRIP:  KATHMANDU 3N, CHITWAN 2N, POKHARA 2N
    08 DAYS 07 NIGHTS NEPAL TRIP: KATHMANDU 3N, CHITWAN 2N, POKHARA 2N
    Nepal, the land of splendid nature and rich culture is waiting for you exploration through its different facets.
  • EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK - 17 DAYS
    EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK - 17 DAYS
    Sagamartha (Everest) Base Camp trek takes us into one of the most spectacular regions of Nepal where the Sherpa culture thrives amongst the highest peaks in the world.
  • KAILASH MANSAROVAR YATRA BY OVERLAND - 14 DAYS
    KAILASH MANSAROVAR YATRA BY OVERLAND - 14 DAYS
    Mt. Kailash (6714m) is the most sacred mountain in Asia.
  • KAILASH YATRA BY HELICOPTER VIA NEPALGUNJ/SIMIKOT/HILSA/TAKLAKOT - 11 DAYS
    KAILASH YATRA BY HELICOPTER VIA NEPALGUNJ/SIMIKOT/HILSA/TAKLAKOT - 11 DAYS
    Mt. Kailash, the sacred mountain and the abode of the Hindu god Shiva is one of the world's greatest pilgrimage destinations especially for Hindus, Buddhist, Jains and others.
  • MUKTINATH TOUR BY LAND/FLIGHT
    MUKTINATH TOUR BY LAND/FLIGHT
    Muktinath is one of the most ancient Hindu temples of God Vishnu.

Mt. Kailash (6714m) is the most sacred mountain in Asia. It is believed to be the physical embodiment of the mythical Mt Meru, said to be the center of the universe or ‘navel of the world’. Mt. Meru is depicted as a mandala, and its image occurs throughout both Buddhista and Hindu parts of Asia. Mt Kailas is holy to followers of four religions. To Hindus, Kailash is the abode of Shiva and nearby Manasarobar Lake is the means or soul of Brahma. Tibetans call Kailas Kang Rimpoche. Jains worship it as Mt Ashtapada, the peak from which the religion’s founder, Rishabanatha, achieved spiritual liberation. Followers of Bon-Po, the ancient pre- Buddhist shamanistic religion of Tibet, revere Kailas as the soul of Tibet. Mt. Kailash has long been an object of worship for four Major religious, for Hindu, it is domain of Shiva, It is also the abode of samvara-a multiarmed, wrathful deity worshipped in the chakrasamvara Tantric cycle of Tibetrian Buddhism. The joins of India also reverse the mountain as the site at which the first of their saints emancipated. And in the ancient Bon religion of Tibet, Kailash was the secred nine storeys Swastika Mountain, upon which the Banpo founder Shenrab alighted from haven. The 53 Km. Kailash circuit is the holist of all-Hindu as well as Buddist pilgrimages and the beacon, which draws most traveller to western Tibet. It is said that a single Parikarma erases the accumulated sins of a lifetime, while 108 cicurmbulation will achieve Salvation.

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More foreign tourists lured toward “district beyond Himalaya”

KATHMANDU, Nepal–The number of foreign tourists visiting Upper Mustang area in Mustang district has increased. As per the data of the office of Immigration, as many as 3,729 foreign tourists visited Upper Mustang in fiscal year 2013/14. The number was 3,266 in previous year.

Annapurna-trek

Officials believe that with the enlist of ‘Top 10 Best Regions to Travel in 2013’ by Lonely Planet — the largest selling travel guidebook — the flow of foreign tourists visiting Mustang, also known as the district beyond Himalaya, increased continuously. Snow caped peak, natural attraction, breathless views, and unique culture of local people are the major attractions of Upper Mustang.

According to the Department of Immigration (DoI) in Kathmandu, most of the tourists visiting Upper Mustang are from France (730), Germany (394) and USA (387).

Foreign trekkers opting to travel Upper Mustang have to pay a US$ 500 to get the permit, which is issued by the Department of Immigration (DoI). The permit is valid for 10 days.

manaslu

With the rise in the number of trekkers, revenue collection via permit fee also increased in the review year. The government mobilized total revenue of Rs 185 million in permit fee from Upper Mustang. In the previous fiscal year, the government had collected Rs 156.7 million from permit fee.

Around 25,000 foreign tourists have visited the area since it was opened to foreigners in 1992.

Source: NepalMountainNews