Tourist inflow via air sees exponential growth

Visitors to Nepal

Visitors to Nepal

Tourist inflow to Nepal jumped by 46.8 per cent in the first six months of 2017, indicating signs of recovery in the tourism industry that was shattered by the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015 and the subsequent trade disruptions.

According to the Department of Immigration, the country received a total of 460,237 tourists in the first half of this year via air route, against 313,512 in the corresponding period of the previous year. Tourist arrivals in the first half of this year surpassed the figure of 2014, before the earthquake struck when country had received 412,461 tourists in the first six months.

Travel and tour entrepreneurs are upbeat about the revival of the tourism industry along with the increase in tourist arrivals.

“The earthquake and fuel crisis had adversely affected the flow of tourists in 2015 and 2016, but though the figure has increased this year, it is still a far cry from our target to bring in two million tourists by 2020,” said Madhusudan Acharya,president of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA).

Nepal a safe tourist destination

Nepal a safe tourist destination

Tourism entrepreneurs have cited weak infrastructure and high airfare as the major obstacles in tourist arrival growth.

“Nepal has been included among the top 10 travel destinations in 2017 by the Lonely Planet, a leading travel guide. Despite the positive message disseminated across the world, tourist flow is still tepid,” according to Binayak Shah, general secretary of Hotel Association Nepal.

Tourist arrival was at a record high in 2012, when the country had received 803,000 visitors by air. Entrepreneurs have said that the country is likely to receive even more number of tourists this year as the inflow of tourists is normally higher in the second half. The period between September and November is considered as the best tourist season in Nepal.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square

HAN General Secretary Shah informed that along with the large number of international organisations working in Nepal for post-quake reconstruction activities, the flow of visitors also increased as the reconstruction works gathered momentum since the beginning of this year. He stressed on the need to expand the country’s only international airport — Tribhuvan International Airport — and improve road connectivity.

“Air traffic congestion, high airfare and bleak road conditions are the major bottlenecks to raise the number of tourists,” Shah asserted. He alleged that the government is not serious towards developing critical infrastructure even though the private sector has substantially increased investment in the sector.

Visitor in Nepal

Visitor in Nepal

Shah also pointed out the prospect of bringing in more tourists from neighbouring India and China as the number of outbound travellers has been growing in these countries. Though the number of outbound travellers has been rising in India and China, the country has failed to tap the potential due to high airfare, he stated. “The airfare to Kathmandu is relatively higher at $350 for a 30-minute flight.”

In the January to June period this year, the country received a high number of tourists from India with a total of 89,196 visitors from the southern neighbour followed by China with 52,084 travellers via air. The country had received 54,224 tourists from India and 33,991 tourists from China in the same period of the previous year.

Source: Thehimalayantimes

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

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

PRESS MEET BY NATTA REGARDING GJ

NATTA

NATTA organised a Press-Meet today in the afternoon at Nepal Tourism Board (Lecture Hall) in the august presence of more than forty media representatives including the electronic media and apprised the media regarding NATTA’s upcoming mega events, viz., NATTA Golden Jubilee Celebrations and 21st NATTA Convention going to be held in Hotel Yak & Yeti on 09th December, 2016. Convenor of the program First Vice-President Mr. CN. Pandey read out the Press-Release on the occasion and answered the queries raised by the respected media. He also informed the gathering that UFTTA was also observing its Golden Jubilee this year adding that it was a happy coincidence. Present on the occasion of NATTA’s Press Meet were the Director General of Department of Tourism Mr. Jaya Narayan Acharya, CEO of NTB Mr. Deepak Raj Joshi, NTB Board Member Mr. Krishna Aryal, NATTA 2nd VP Mr. D.K. Sharma and NATTA Board Members. Prof. Dr. Hari Sarmah broke the ice of the program. After the Press Meet, Secretary General Mr. Bhim Prasad Panta thanked media representatives for their important participation and all the dignitaries present.

Natta Press Release 2016

Press Release
Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) is celebrating Golden Jubilee to mark its 50th Anniversary on Friday, 9th December 2016 (24th Magshir 2073BS) in Kathmandu. Golden Jubilee Event carries the theme of “Nepal Tourism: Industry of National Priority” with an objective of revitalizing the almost forlorn Government agenda feebly lying in papers for quite some time.

With the membership of more than 1000 companies nationwide, NATTA stands out as a pioneering association of tour and travel agents not only in Nepal but also in this region. NATTA’s 50years’ tireless service of uniting nation’s travel agents and tour operators for a common mission of entrepreneurship, professionalism and prosperity and for the promotion of Nepalese tourism speaks in volumes its dedication for the development of tourism industry of Nepal.

Natta Press Release

NATTA has set out various programs to celebrate the event; some have already been organized while others are yet to be completed. In this connection, NATTA organized a cycle rally and Clean up Campaign at some of the Historical Sites like Kathmandu Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square to generate awareness to the public about cleanliness of the tourism sites and to draw attention of the concerned authorities that the earthquake hit tourist sites are desperately waiting to be reconstructed. NATTA along with Qatar Airways dedicated this year’s blood donation program to the Golden Jubilee. In addition, to make college students participate in tourism discourse, college level essay competition has also been organized on this historic occasion. There are many programs like Twenty First Convention of NATTA, Round Table Conclave, Award Ceremony and other quite feverish entertainment programs have been kept
along with the Inaugural Function on 9th December 2016 at Hotel Yak and Yeti, Kathmandu. This year also marks the Golden Jubilee of UFTAA (United Federation of Travel Agents Association), international umbrella association of travel agents. President of UFTAA, presidents and leaders of travel associations from various countries are also participating in this Golden Jubilee Event. They are excited to celebrate Golden Jubilee and to promote and market Nepals tourism products in their respective countries.

CN Pandey
1st Vice President
Convener- NATTA Golden Jubilee Celebration and XXI Convention

Source: NATTA

The Indian Government enabled by Electronic Authorization (e-Tourist visa)

E-Tourist Visa Facility is available for holders of passport of following countries

Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Island, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Vietnam.

Valley of Flowers Trek, Uttarakhand, India

Instructions for e-Tourist Visa

  • Applicants of the eligible countries may apply online minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 30 days. Example : If you are applying on 1st Sept then applicant can select arrival date from 5th Sept to 4th Oct.
  • Recent front facing photograph with white background and photo page of Passport containing personal details like name,date of birth, nationality , expiry date etc. to be uploaded by the applicant. The application is liable to be rejected if the uploaded document and photograph are not clear / as per specification.
  • e-Tourist Visa (eTV) fee is US$ 60/- per passenger excluding interchange charge for credit/debit cards.The fee must be paid at least 4 days before the expected date of travel filled by you otherwise application will not be processed.
  • eTV fee once submitted is non-refundable as the fee is for processing of the application and is not dependent on either Grant or Rejection of VISA.
  • Applicant should carry a copy of eTV along with him/her at the time of travel.
  • Biometric details of the applicant will be mandatorily captured at Immigration on arrival in India.
  • The validity of visa will be 30 days from the date of arrival in India.
  • eTV is valid for entry through 9 designated Airports i.e. Bengaluru,Chennai,Cochin,Delhi ,Goa, Hyderabad,Kolkata,Mumbai & Trivandrum .However, the foreigner can take exit from any of the authorized Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) in India.
  • This facility is in addition to the existing Visa services.
  • e-Tourist Visa (eTV) is allowed for a maximum of two visits in a calendar year.
  • e-Tourist Visa (eTV) once issued on arrival is Only single entry , non-extendable , non-convertible & not valid for visiting Protected/Restricted and Cantonment Areas.
  • Applicants can track the status of their application online by clicking visa status.
  • Please be careful while making payment of the eTV fee. If the number of unsuccessful attempts is more than three (03), then the application id would be blocked and the applicant would be required to apply afresh by filling the application form again and regenerating a new application id.
  • Before re-applying, the applicants are requested to wait for 4 hours for payment status updating, after final submission of the application form and payment of the fee. The payment status updating may take up to 4 hours.
  • Nationals of Yellow Fever affected countries must carry YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION CARD at the time of arrival in India, otherwise they may be quarantined for 6 days upon arrival in India. Please visit our Ministry Of Health & Family Welfare latest guidelines regarding yellow fever countries here.
  • For any assistance call 24 * 7 Visa support center at +91-11-24300666 or send email to indiatvoa@gov.in

For detail of e-Tourist Visa, check following link

https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html

TICC established

Department of Tourism, under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has started an initiative to gather information about tourists who have gone missing, are dead or injured in the devastating earthquake and the avalanche in the Himalayan region due to the quake. ntb

A meeting held today at the department decided to set up a Tourist Information Coordination Centre (TICC), where people from anywhere in the country can provide information on tourists who are missing, dead or injured at the toll free number ‘1144’. People can inform Tourist Police through that toll free number.

For better coordination, Rukesh Tandukar, in-charge of Tourist Police Unit and Sarad Pradhan (contact number 9851077385) of Nepal Tourism Board will be available at all times to gather information.

The centre will work directly under Director General of the department, Tulasi Prasad Gautam. It will gather information in coordination with Tourist Police, Department of Immigration, Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal, Nepal Mountaineering Association, Nepal Association of Tour and Trekking Agents, and Hotel Association Nepal. TICC will promptly convey the message to the rescue and relief team of the government.

This initiative is expected to address queries of foreign missions in Nepal whose citizens were visiting the country at the time of the devastating earthquake. Thousands of tourists are still unaccounted for, as per various foreign missions.

The European Union (EU) said at least 1,000 EU citizens so far are unaccounted for after the quake. Talking to The Himalayan Times, EU Ambassador to Nepal, Rensje Teerink said they did not know where their citizens are in the country. “Many could have left the country unharmed, however, it hasn’t been brought to our notice.”

source:the himalayan times