Visit Nepal Year planned for 2020

Visit Nepal Year 2020

Visit Nepal Year 2020

As the government has set a target to bring in two million tourists each year by 2020, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has planned to organise ‘Visit Nepal Year’ in 2020 to attract more tourists to the country. Unveiling the action plan of the ministry for the next two months, Tourism Minister Jitendra Narayan Dev said that the ministry will establish a secretariat for the Visit Nepal Year shortly to make necessary preparations.

Earlier, the MoCTCA had planned to celebrate Visit Nepal Year in 2018, which was put off due to the delay in construction of airports, heritage sites and roads. The 60-day action plan unveiled today has given due priority to the early completion of the construction and expansion of the international and domestic airports, heritage sites and other tourism infrastructure. The government has planned to complete the expansion of Tribhuvan International Airport and construction of Gautam Buddha Airport in Bhairahawa before the Visit Nepal Year. Likewise, the reconstruction of major heritage sites is expected to be completed before 2020.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

In its 60-day plan, MoCTCA has said that it will frame country-wise tourism promotion strategy and bring it into implementation. Country-wise tourism strategy will help the tourism promotion organisations to carry out promotionalactivities to tap potential outbound travellers of concerned countries. Currently, India, China, United States of America, United Kingdom and Sri Lanka are the major source countries of tourists.

In the context of rising number of outbound travellers in India and China, the country wise tourism promotion strategy will help Nepal to tap the outbound travellers of the neighbouring nations. The country will identify the reasons behind low growth in tourist arrivals and take necessary measures to attract more tourists in the country, according to Minister Dev.

He further said that the air service agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and New Zealand will be finalised soon. The action plan also states that MoCTCA will review the air service agreements with Thailand, Japan, Egypt and China, among others.

The ministry will initiate the process to bring strategic partner for Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) — the national flag carrier — and also take forward NAC’s proposal to purchase two more narrow-body aircraft. The business plan submitted by NAC for the commercial operation of two wide-body aircraft that the corporation is in the process of purchasing and its plans regarding human resources will be finalised in the next two months.

The action plan also incorporates plans to amend the Tourism Act to make it more contextual and also plans to amend Casino Regulation, Travel and Trekking Regulation and Mountaineering Expedition Regulation.

chitwan-national-park

chitwan-national-park

Likewise, to bridge the gap in human resources in the tourism sector, which is expected to boom in the future along with the government and private sector’s initiative to achieve robust growth in this sector, Tourism Minister Dev has envisioned to upgrade Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management to a Tourism University. To establish the Tourism University, the MoCTCA will carry out the necessary groundwork like framing draft law and land acquisition for the university, among others in the next two months.

MoCTCA will also carry out a survey to expand the line agencies of the ministry and the departments to the provincial and local levels. Similarly, it will also frame a master plan for the preservation of tourist sites, as per the action plan unveiled today.

source: The Himalayan Times

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

Aussie delegation terms Nepal a safe tourist destination

An Australian delegation led by lawmaker Jing Lee returned home today after completing a weeklong visit.

Speaking at a press meet at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) before her departure, lawmaker Lee said her delegation arrived here seeking to support Nepal in its ongoing post-earthquake reconstruction campaign and added that Nepal is safe for travel.

Nepal a safe tourist destination

During her Nepal visit, she found it safer, she shared her experiences, urging the international community to visit Nepal and help it in the reconstruction efforts. Nepal is rich in history, art, culture and adventurous trekking routes, mountains, flora and fauna and natural possessions have made it a wonderful tourist destination, she described.

In her words, one must visit Nepal once. She said during its stay here, the delegation member visited the areas within the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara, and Chitwan and was mesmerized by the natural beauty of Pokhara.

Traditional art and culture inherited by the capital, extra-ordinary natural beauty possessed by Pokhara, an elephant riding in Chitwan and hospitality shown by the Nepali citizen to them touched their hearts and made a print in their minds, the Australian guest said.

Lee born in Malaysia is currently the lawmaker from the Australia ruling party Liberal Party of Australia.

Nepal a safe tourist destination

Nepal a safe tourist destination

Our visit was aimed at giving a message to the world that Nepal that resisted a major earthquake last year is safe as a tourist destination, she said, adding that after return home, she would encourage the Australian people to visit Nepal. She said she would take her time at the parliament there to inform lawmakers about Nepal and its beauty. During the visit, the Austrian lawmaker called on the Prime Minister and the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, some of her counterparts and the government senior officials.

At the press meet, Nepal’s Honorary Consul to the South Australia Deepak Dhamala said Lee’s visit has helped further consolidate the bilateral ties existing between Nepal and Australia.

Lawmaker Lee is also learnt to have individually contributed to the Prime Minister’s Natural Disaster Fund in the wake of the powerful earthquake (April 25, 2015) in the country.

Source: Myrepublica

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 ready to welcome tourists, says envoy

Ambassador of Nepal in India, Deep Kumar Upadhyaya today said that Nepal was completely safe and ready to welcome tourists. The Himalayan kingdom is looking forward to having visitors from India.

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Upadhyaya was speaking at a seminar “Nepal: Tourist Destination” organized here today by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in collaboration with the Embassy of Nepal, here today.

“Open border between the two countries has ensured an uninterrupted flow of people and in 2013 a total of 1.80 lakh Indians visited Nepal,” he said. Upadhyaya said Indian visitors constituted 23 per cent of the total tourists visiting Nepal. “All Himalayan states, including India and Nepal, must jointly promote spiritual tourism as there is vast potential and joint marketing will help all the countries reap the benefits and beckon international tourists,” he said.

Vice-chairman of the state tourism development board suggested that all Himalayan states in India must join hands to form National Regional Hill Development Authority of which Nepal and Bhutan can also be members.

This would not only help strengthen relations between the neighboring countries but also help in reconstruction of severely damaged Kathmandu through tourism, power besides many other areas of mutual cooperation.

Mani Raj Lamichhane, Head of Department of Tourism Products and Resources Development, Nepal Tourism Board, gave a detailed presentation, highlighting tourism opportunities in Nepal and prospects and benefits of developing mutla packages for visitors from both countries.

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Source: www.tribuneindia.com

Govt survey finds major glacial lakes safe

News reports about glacial lakes developing serious cracks and heightened possibility of glacial lake outburst flooding (GLOF) in the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake made big headlines. Consequently, the government deployed monitoring teams to the mountains. However, a recent survey of the affected Himalayan region has dismissed any possibility of GLOF. The survey conducted by a team of experts deployed by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), boldly proclaims that the glacial lakes are out of danger.

Glacier-Lake

The report was made public during a press meet held at the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoSTE) on June 21. Making a presentation on the report, Director General of DHM, Rishi Ram Sharma said the recent quakes have caused no serious damage to the glacial lakes.

“After being alarmed of the situation, we paid field visits to the respective districts and found no serious damage. For now, there is no danger of GLOF. Some of the issues were raised unnecessarily and sensitized,” said Sharma.

Concerns over the condition of two critically vulnerable glacial lakes — Tsho Rolpa in Dolkha and Imja in Solukhambu — had grown after rumors that the rivers in the area had swollen due to GLOF. The situation had turned more serious after news reports about discovery of deep and wide cracks near Tsho-Rolpa lake made headlines.

Monitoring of the two vulnerable glacial lakes were done on June 13, 15 and 16 simultaneously by a three-member team led by Sharma. Sharma however, said the series of strong jolts have caused a few minor cracks in the lakes.

“Imja lake is fine. We found no trace of damage in the region. However, some minor cracks were found near Tsho Rolpa glacial lake but they are not serious,” said Sharma.

The cracks were found on a pile of debris near one of the DHM stations near the edge of the lake. Sharma explained that the cracks are on a shallow portion near the lake and they pose no threat.

“Next to Tsho Rolpa lies a small hill and a small landslide has left its trace on it. As per our assessment, they do not pose any immediate threat of GLOF,” said Sharma.

On June 10, fear of a GLOF had scared the locals when the water level in the Dudhkoshi River rose 48 meters within an hour. GLOF was the first guess as it had not rained on that day. However, after an investigation, it was found that the water was from one of the many glacial lakes above Hongu VDC.

“It was not GLOF but overflow of water from glacial ponds formed at Hongu VDC,” said Chief of Flood Forecasting Division at DHM, Rajendra Sharma.

This is not the first time that overflowing of glacial ponds have been mistaken for GLOF. In one recent incident, on March 25 when supra glacial lake overflowed near Everest Base Camp, it had caused panic in the area.

According to Rijan Bhakta Kayasta, senior geologist and assistant professor at Kathmandu University, there are many glacial ponds in the mountains and near the glacial lakes and there is an instant need to study them.

“Glacial ponds are formed from the debris and melting of glaciers but our research studied only the major glaciers and glacial lakes. In order to understand such recent puzzling phenomena, there is an instant need to turn our focus on these small glacial ponds as well,” said Kayasta.

As per the report of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), there are 2,323 glacial lakes across the Himalayan region in Nepal. Out of them, 21 have been categorized as critically vulnerable.

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Source: REPUBLICA