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

Visit Nepal-Europe 2017 campaign on the cards

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has announced it will celebrate and campaign 2017 as a Visit Nepal Year in Europe.

The announcement came at a function held in Kathmandu on Saturday to mark NTBs anniversary.

NTB said it made the announcement as part of promoting Nepal as a tourism destination and with the aim of bringing a maximum number of tourists from European countries.

The campaigns primary goal is to increase the number of tourists visiting Nepal in 2017 from Europe by 30 percent to 40 percent compared to 2016.

Tourists coming from Europe have contributed significantly to Nepals tourism industry, Nepal Tourism Board CEO Deepak Raj Joshi said. We hope to increase this momentum further by celebrating 2017 as Visit Nepal Year in European countries.

A photo exhibition, talks on mountaineering, a send a friend to Nepal campaign, tourism promotion through Nepali restaurants in Europe, Nepal Day, Buddha Jayanti, and Everest Day celebrations, FAM trips, and training the Nepali diaspora in Europe to promote Nepal as a tourism destination, among others, will be programs that NTB will focus on organizing in different countries in Europe, it said.

Nepal Tourism Board, through its Honorary Public Relations Representatives in different countries in Europe, will work in collaboration with Nepali diplomatic missions and the Nepali diaspora there, and with local friends of Nepal in Europe to make the Visit Nepal – Europe 2017 campaign successful, NTB said.

A number of tourism promotion programs for 2017 have already been planned in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Russia, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Denmark, Deepesh Man Shakya, the coordinator of Visit Nepal – Europe 2017 and also Nepal Tourism Boards Honorary Public Relations Representatives for Ireland, said. We are working with Nepali embassies and local Nepali organizations to come up with plans for other parts of Europe, Shakya added.

The Visit Nepal – Europe 2017 campaign will also build groundwork for promoting tourism in Nepal all over the world in 2018 as part of Visit Nepal Year 2018 which the government had announced recently, according to NTB.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Jeevean Bahadur Shahi and Shankhar Prasad Adhikari, the chairman of Nepal Tourism Board Executive and Secretary at Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, were present at Saturdays event.

Nepal Tourism Board will officially launch the campaign in London in March.

Source: Myrepublica

Mt. Kanchenjunga Diamond Jubilee

mt-kanchenjunga

Mt. Kanchenjunga Diamond Jubilee 2016 is going to be held on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Kanchenjunga by Joe Brown and George Christopher Band on May 25, 1955, under the leadership of Sir Charles Evans. Mr. Joe Brown is only the person who is still living among the group.

The height of this mountain is 8,586 meters and it is the third highest mountain of the world after Mount Everest of Nepal and K2 Godwin of Pakistan; it is second highest mountain of Nepal. It is located in Taplejung district of Nepal which lies in the north-east part of Nepal. It is one of the two districts which has border with both the neighboring countries India and China and the mountain also borders all the three countries – Taplejung of Nepal, Sikkim of India and Tibet of China.

Mr. Ang Furba Sherpa was the first Nepali national to reach the summit of Mt.Kanchenjunga on May 14, 1980 with the Japanese Expedition Team led by Masatsugu. As per the data of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ministry there are 344 persons who have successfully climbed this mountain. This mountains meaning is Five Treasures of Snow as it has five peaks and four of the peaks are above 8,000 meters. Likewise there are 16 peaks which are above 7,000 meters.

mount-kanchenjunga-diamond-jubilee-2016

Kanchenjunga Conservation Area was established on 1997 by collaboration of World Wildlife Fund & National Reserve and Wildlife Conservation Department. Red panda, snow leopard are the main endangered species found in this area and two critically endangered species of amphibians – Blanford’s spiny frog (Paa Blanfordii) and Dubois paha frog (Paa Rostandi) are found in this area.

The General Assembly of Union of Asian Alpine Association (UAAA) is scheduled for Nov. 18 & 19 in Kathmandu. All the members of UAAA have been invited to attend the meeting. International Conference on mountain tourism, climate change and earthquake in Nepal will be also organized in Kathmandu on the same dates. These guests will also travel to Suketar, Taplejung for the Kanchenjunga Diamond Jubilee 2016 which will help to bolster the image of the event itself. The Jubilee program is expected to help to promote the tourism industry in Taplejung district and also support the local products and foods in the district. We also expect to announce the official recognition of three more mountains in this region above 8,000 meters.

Contact Persons:
– Mr. Chhowang Sherpa, Coordinator, +977 9851025716
– Mr. Bal Bahadur Tamang, Secretary, +977 9845125889
– Mr. Mingma Dandu Sherpa, Joint Secretary, +977 984995915

Source: NTB

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

Tourism fraternity welcomes plan to organize Visit Nepal Year

Tourism entrepreneurs have welcomed the idea to celebrate Visit Nepal Year (VNY) campaign in 2017 or 2018, assuming that reconstruction and rebuilding works will be completed by then.

It its Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report, National Planning Commission (NPC) has suggested organizing VNY campaign in 2017 and 2018 to rebuild and rebrand Nepal’s tourism image.

Tourism entrepreneurs say the campaign would be effective in promoting Nepali tourism brand in international arena and help bring more tourists. They, however, are for implementing the campaign under public private partnership (PPP) model, saying that the government alone cannot re-brand and promote Nepal in the international market.

Kathmandu-durbar-square

PDNA report states that significant efforts and resources as well as proper coordination among key stakeholders would be necessary to ensure that foreign tourists perceive Nepal as a safe destination so that the campaign can be successful.

Bijay Amatya, CEO of Kora Tours, said extensive preparations should be done so that VNY can actually help to bring not just the regular but additional tourists. “We need to focus on promoting new destinations like Dolpa, Rara, Jumla and Ilam, and organizing more international events like Indra Matta, Mani Rimdu and Everest Marathon, among others,” said Amatya.

The report estimates the decline in revenue from entry fees at cultural monuments in Kathmandu Valley will be worth Rs 600 million (US$ 6 million) over the next 12 months. However, tourism entrepreneurs say the loss can be recovered by promoting tourism as a new tourism product as people from all over the world might be interested to come and see how survivors recover and how Nepal rebuilds its cultural heritages and monuments.

“As foreigners have always praised Nepali hospitality, they might love to come and see how Nepalis come out of rubbles and focus on reconstruction,” Raj Gyawali, a tourism entrepreneur, said. “We should focus on people and recovery. The contrast of vibrant modern society with traditional values and heritage should be promoted as foreigners love and value it as they do not have it in their country.”

Among others, tourism entrepreneurs suggest to the government to promote new destinations, provide special packages for tourists, and marketing creatively with new approach for tourism recovery.

Ramesh Kumar Adhikari, chief administrator of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), said celebrating 2017 or 2018 as VNY could help a lot in tourism recovery. “We can make VNY a grand success if we work in proper coordination and make necessary preparations,” he said. He also added that NTB was planning to organize an international expo in Nepal as per the Pokhara Declaration 2015.

Tourism entrepreneurs, however, say the country should be able spread positive message throughout the world and make people feel that Nepal is safe to visit before making any announcement regarding VNY.

Andrew Jones, vice chairman of PATA, said Nepal needs to tell the world that the situation here is not that worse as seen in international media. “Before arriving Nepal, I was expecting to see whole lot of devastation as shown in different media. But when I arrived here, I was surprised to see that most of the areas in Nepal are still intact and are untouched by the quake,” Jones told Republica in a recent interview. He also suggested the government and tourism entrepreneurs to promote attractions, facilities and areas of heritage and culture, and natural beauty, that have not been affected by the earthquake.

Ramesh Prasad Dhamala, president of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), said that government should focus on reducing aviation turbine fuel, landing and parking charges at Tribhuwan International Airport so that the air fare will be reduced automatically which will definitely help bring in more tourists. “The national flag carrier, Nepal Airlines Corporation should be strengthened, so that it can fly to different destinations in the world offering cheap fares. This will help us attract more tourists,” he added.

The recovery strategy for tourism in PDNA has four distinct phases — identifying and assessing unaffected and safe tourist destinations, creating a ‘safe trekking system’ for mountain tourism in Nepal, rebuilding and redeveloping damaged areas, and identifying and developing new tourist products and services.

If these things can be focused sequentially, Nepal will be ready to host more tourists very soon.

“Nepal Tourism Year (NTY) 2011 campaign helped us to bring 300,000 additional tourists. If campaigns like VNY can be launched with a strong message, it is not difficult to bring more tourists here,” Yogendra Shakya, national coordinator of NTY, said.

Follow and share our more detail from our social media ; Facebook Pinterest and Twitter.

Source: Republica