NTB announces 2073 as Ghumphir Barsa

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on Monday announced Bikram Sambat 2073 as Ghumphir Barsa, which means travel year, in a bid to promote domestic tourism. The initiative is part of the governments preparations to organize International Tourism Year 2017-18.

A minister-level decision had approved the proclamation of Ghumphir Barsa last Friday.

Living Goddess Kumari in Kathmandu

Living Goddess Kumari in Kathmandu Durbar Square

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will make a special announcement of the programme, the first of its kind, on April 24 to commemorate the first anniversary of the April 25 earthquake.

As our domestic tourism requires promotion, we have decided to conduct a wide promotional campaign to encourage domestic sightseers to travel in Nepal, said Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of the NTB. The programme is part of the preparations to declare 2017-18 as International Tourism Year.

The NTB has allocated a budget of Rs2 million to carry out promotional activities to make the programme a success.

The board will encourage the private sector to create special packages targeting Nepali travellers. NTB will help the private sector to promote the tour packages, said Joshi.

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa (Buddhist Pilgrimage)

Likewise, the tourism promotional body has suggested to the government to allocate a separate budget for travel leave concessions for government employees in the next fiscal year. Besides, the NTB has also planned to encourage the corporate sector to provide travel leave holidays.

As per the plan, a booklet will be published describing the tour packages developed by travel and tour operators, the board said. In a bid to promote new destinations, travellers will be offered schemes and incentives, said Joshi.

We are not aware of our geography as we have not travelled in Nepal, said Ambica Shrestha, senior tourism entrepreneur and president of Dwarikas Hotel. visit Nepal and let the country move ahead. I believe this programme will encourage Nepalis to explore their country and promote tourism, said Shrestha.

Trekking in Nepal

Trekking in Nepal

There are no statistics regarding domestic tourism in Nepal, but travel trade entrepreneurs said that the trend was on the rise owing to young travellers and adventure lovers who are exploring new ways of recreation.

They said that places like Pokhara, Chitwan, Muktinath and the Annapurna Circuit, among others, have been receiving a large number of domestic visitors due to a growing middle class.

Source: The Kathmandu Post

Nepal is beautiful and safe, recommend foreign tourists

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    MUKTINATH TOUR BY LAND/FLIGHT
    Muktinath is one of the most ancient Hindu temples of God Vishnu.

The tourists visiting Nepal in the aftermath of the massive earthquake have opined that Nepal’s pristine beauty has remained intact while the tourist destinations are safe for travel.

Australian photographer Beniji Santa Maria during his visit to tourist destinations found that they were safer for travel. He travelled for a week at the Ghandruk Himalayan area at the world famous Annapurna Trekking route and also visited major destinations inside Pokhara, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu.

“The media had been disseminating such news as if to convey to the world a message that the earthquake completely destroyed all the infrastructures in Nepal, but I have found that it is not true and I have seen that the hotels, restaurants, trek routes and famous tourist destinations are safe for travel,” Santa Maria said.

Travelling in Nepal

He said travelling to Nepal was a dream come true for him and termed Nepal an ‘extremely romantic place’. The Australian will return to Nepal in March next year as he could not get enough from the current visit. With deeply entrenched passion for Nepali lifestyle and culture, and the untouched villages of the Himalayan range, the Australian wants to hold an exhibition of the photos that he took in Nepal when he gets back home.

Santa Maria says that the Dhaulagiri mountain, the Annapurna mountain range and Pokhara valley seen from the Pun Hill located 3,200 meters above the sea level has mesmerized him and so has the beauty of Newari culture of Kathmandu Valley and its peculiar lifestyle.

“Nepal is really splendid in terms of natural beauty and also secure, and it is necessary to spread this message world over,” said Santa Maria before leaving for Indonesia and Malaysia. The tourist has travelled to more than a dozen countries.

Canadian nationals, Bruce Edwards and Theresa Roberts, visited Nepal for the fourth time to help the quake victims and convey the message to the would-be tourists around the world after accessing Nepal’s condition.

Finnish Rock Band near everest

This Canadian couple with a special liking for traveling to many destinations in the world has started a campaign of garnering support for the quake victims through a website and acted as liaison between the donors and the victims. They say that support had been collected for quake-stricken schools and children. “It was merely an illusion that we thought the earthquake would make traveling in Nepal difficult, but there are no problems for accommodation and food, however, fuel scarcity is making life difficult here,” Roberts said.

During their visit to Pokhara and other destinations for a month after coming to Kathmandu they mobilised support for rebuilding community buildings including some schools through the website and identifying the quake victims. “We will help spread a positive message that traveling to Nepal with the magnificent Himalayan range, alpine lakes, rivers, hills, different languages, culture and traditional lifestyle is safe,” the Canadian couple, who came to Nepal after visiting South Korea, said.

A couple with surname Gunter from New York who were strolling around at the Basantapur Durbar square said although the media had depicted Nepal has a completely ruined place, it was not true.

“Some monuments have collapsed, but there is no difficulties and lack of facilities for tourists to stay and travel in Nepal and we will convey this message when we return back to the US,” they said. The couple is also planning to visit Bhutan.

Bhaktapur-durbar-square5

Tourists have started showing up at the Bhaktapur, Patan and Basantapur Durbar areas but the number is much less as compared to previous year. The failure to disseminate information regarding tourists’ accommodation and tour packages in the post-quake Nepal has led to a drastic shrinkage in the number of visits at the height of the ongoing tourist season.

The Basantapur Durbar Square tourist information center said that in fiscal year 2014/15 a total of 27,116 tourists visited the area. The Durbar Square collected Rs 157 million from them. This year 5,593 tourists have visited by the first week of October. Last year 22, 255 tourists had come for visits by mid-August while between mid-August and mid-September a total of 16,000 tourists visited Basantapur.

Sujan Rijal, who has been working as a tour guide for the last five years, said the number of tourists visiting Nepal as compared to last year has come down.

“The tourists have declined this season as we failed to send information at the right time that Nepal’s tourism destinations suffered less impact during the earthquake,” Rijal said, adding, “Looking at the tourists’ visits right now we can assume that the number will increase in the next season.”

Source: Kathmandupost

Lumbini safe for tourists: LDT

lumbini (1)

Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) has invited tourists to visit Lumbini saying that monuments in the UNESCO World Heritage site have not suffered any damage due to the earthquake of April 25.
Issuing a press statement, LDT — the agency that oversees development and promotion of Lumbini — said Lumbini is safe to visit. “Domestic and foreign tourists can visit Lumbini without any fear,” LDT said in a statement.
lumbini_garden_nepal
Ajit Man Tamang, member secretary of LDT, said in the statement said that all temples and historical monuments in Lumbini are safe. “Sites connected to Lord Buddha’s life like his home town , Sacred Garden Kapilvastu, historical Kapilvastu Durbar Area in Tilaurakot, Buddha’s maternal uncle’s house in Devdaha, birthplace of Krukachanda Buddha in Gotihawa, and birthplace of Kanakmuni Buddha in Niglihawa have not suffered any damage,” the statement added.

Source: MyRepublica

Get on a holiday to Nepal! Tourism is the most sustainable way to help

  • 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
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    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
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  • EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK - 17 DAYS
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    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
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    Mt. Kailash (6714m) is the most sacred mountain in Asia.
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    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.

Nepal needs tourists – what is open and what is closed for travel and tourism?

eTN is planning a series of reports in cooperation with an inside view by leaders in the travel and tourism industry in Nepal.

Pankaj Pradhananaga is the eTN Ambassador in Nepal and also the Director of Four Seasons Travel in Kathmandu. He is one of several recognized leaders in the travel and tourism industry. He represents the eTN-supported International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) in Nepal and has been driving to bring local tourism leaders together.

Pankaj’s message to the world: Invite desperately-needed visitors to come back to this country. Tourism is the most sustainable way to help Nepal. Plan your holiday in Nepal in the near future.

He asks: “What is next? How long will it take to bring the tourism industry back on track?”

This is aked by entrepreneurs, tourism professionals, and many more who survived the devastating earthquake of April 25.

Needless to say, Nepal was not prepared to handle such a devastating quake that killed more than 8,000 people and many more thousands got injured. The initial bottleneck was visible in terms of coordinating rescue and relief operations. International media left no stone unturned to paint the gloomy picture of the devastating sites in Kathmandu valley and the remote villages.

Truth be told, in Kathmandu valley, there have been damages to some monuments, a few collapsing completely, but the majority of structures in Patan and Bhaktapur have withstood the earthquake. The monuments in Bhaktapur durbar square are standing tall except the temple of Wutshala. The UNESCO sites of Pashupatinath temple & Boudhanath stupa are unaffected.

Unfortunately Kathmandu Durbar Square is affected the most. The residential buildings in the old part of the cities have been affected, too, especially in Bhaktapur. However, all have not.

The work has already begun to clear the debris of collapsed buildings in the valley.

Thankfully other major tourist destinations like Pokhara, Chitwan, Bandipur, and Lumbini are unaffected by the earthquake.

Many major hotels in Kathmandu are back in business. Mr. Pradhyumna Ghimire, Director of Sales, Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza, confirmed that his hotel is fully operational. Some other hotels in the valley temporarily stopped operations to get a structural assessment and repair work done.

The mid-hill of central Nepal has been hit badly with villages and small towns suffering collapse or damage. Relief work is now shifting to these areas and away from the city where things are slowly getting back to normal.

The trekking routes in Annapurna and Everest regions are all okay and operational. As per Mr. Bikram Neupane, National Coordinator of Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), one can enjoy trekking holidays in these areas.

It doesn’t count for the Langtang region. This part of Nepal was the worst affected, and it will take a minimum of 6 months for treks to operate there.

Needless to say, Nepal’s tourism industry has witnessed unprecedented cancellations posing a great threat to employment and the overall economy of this mountain-locked country.

While there is no rush for people to immediately visit Nepal, there is no reason to discourage visitors either, especially for those wanting to visit in a month or two.

It is highly commendable that friends of Nepal all over the world are helping the country with relief drives. However, the most sustainable way to help Nepal is to go there on a holiday.

Source: www.eturbonews.com

The Best Way to Help Nepal Recover From the Quake? Go There on Vacation

NEPAL-EVEREST-TRAIL

Roberto Schmidt—AFP/Getty Images

Tourism dollars can help save the Nepali people from undue hardship

“We are pleased to inform you that Nepal is now safe to visit,” reads an email from Adventure Mountain Explore Treks & Expedition (AME treks) sent out on Wednesday. “If you have already booked your holiday or you are planning to, we welcome you with an open heart.” The message from the Kathmandu-based mountaineering and sightseeing organizers represents a larger plea from the small Himalayan nation, as it continues to pick itself up from the devastating April 25 earthquake that claimed over 7,000 lives thus far. “Nepal is very safe to travel,” said AME executive director Tika Regmi. “Life is back to normal.”

The 7.9-magnitude quake laid waste to large swaths of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu (including several iconic heritage sites) and entire villages across the countryside have been flattened, but companies and officials alike insist visiting the country is now more important than ever.

The quake came during Nepal’s summer trekking season, and its aftermath and gradual recovery will undoubtedly affect this year’s peak autumn trekking expeditions beginning in September — bookings for which Regmi says are already starting to be canceled.

Despite Nepal’s peerless natural beauty — boasting eight of the 10 highest mountains in the world — and ancient temples and palaces, this landlocked nation of 30 million only receives around 600,000 visitors a year, making tourism a key potential avenue for growth.

Ganga Sagar Pant, CEO of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), says there is no reason for Nepal’s tourism — currently contributing around 10% of GDP and jobs — to grind to a halt. “The world must go on,” he said. “The tourism products are still there — mountains, flora and fauna, jungles, trails.”

Pant says TAAN is planning “assessment” expeditions to popular trekking sites like the Mount Everest circuit, the Annapurna region (which includes the 10th highest mountain in the world) and the Langtang National Park in the weeks to come, so a more concrete picture of the earthquake’s impact can be formed.

MORE: 6 Ways You Can Give to Nepal Earthquake Relief

Nepal’s government is also in the process of collecting data on loss of infrastructure and damage to heritage sites and popular trekking paths. “But there are many other areas which could be new tourism products and destinations, so our focus is on that as well,” says Mohan Krishna Sapkota, spokesperson for Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation. “Our priority is to bring more tourists and provide them quality, safety, hospitality and other services to their satisfaction,” he says, expressing a desire to re-establish Nepal as a “safe, unique and attractive tourist destination.”

All three men — Regmi, Pant and Sapkota — insist that Nepal remains safe and urge people to come visit. The benefits are especially positive if visitors reside in homestays and frequent independent restaurants and shops.

“People from around the world are willing to help in this situation,” says Pant. “One important and sustainable way to do that is to help tourism here flourish again.”

nepal_earthquake_adam_ferguson_2015_02295

A Nepalese boy stands amid earthquake damage in the ancient city of Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu Valley, April 28, 2015, three days after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake had hit the country. Adam Ferguson for TIME

Source: time.com

Entrepreneurs ask tourists to continue Nepal visit in wake of quake

Tourism entrepreneurs have called foreign tourists not to change their plan of visiting Nepal, in wake of the devastating April 25 earthquake.

Issuing a press release, the Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO) said, “The tourism operators of Nepal are warning international travellers not to jump to conclusions over damage.”

“The popular tourist areas have escaped the brunt of the damage of the recent earthquake,” the release read, “The Kathmandu Valley is alive and kicking and striving to get back on its feet.”

Despite damages seen in historical and cultural monuments, Nepal is still able to welcome tourists, claimed the Association.

Informing that roads and air transport links are intact across the country, it said majority of hotels and restaurants are already back in operation.

“The Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu is operating around the clock,” it added.

Meanwhile, the Association called the government to step up measures to ensure that tourism activities are smooth.

“The destroyed monuments and cultural sites around the Kathmandu Valley and elsewhere need to be built back up and this will provide employment and create resurgence in traditional building methods,” Association Ashok Pokharel said.

source:the himalayan times