Pokhara ( RSS ) : The government in Province 4 unveiled annual policies and programmes for the fiscal year 2018-2019 by accepting tourism infrastructure as the major base of economy.

Releasing the policies and programmes of the province government, Governor Baburam Kunwar said a master plan for tourism development would be developed with a clear plan of action for its integrated development.

Likewise, Pokhara-Kathmandu-Lumbini would be developed as the Buddha Golden Triangle as part of the inter-province coordination and religious-cultural-historical-archeological sites’ protection; development of infrastructure would be ensured and policy of environmental conservation adopted while carrying out development works of the tourism infrastructure.

Similarly, the province government has planned to form a lake conservation development authority in coordination with the federal and local governments.

Tourism service information centre would also be established in order to disseminate information and services needed for the tourists.

According to the policies and programmes, branding of tourism heritages and sites would be conducted to establish a touristic image of the province in the international tourism market, and information technology would be used to its maximum capacity to augment the tourism business.

Meanwhile , Chief Minister of Province No. 4 Prithvi Subba Gurung has said that tourism, energy, agriculture and industry sectors were the major basis for prosperity of the province in a program held here .

Saying that the province policy and programs has planned to run around 300 homestays in Mustang, Manang and around Pokhara to promote tourism, Gurung claimed that 50,000 employment and 100,000 self-employment opportunities would be generated in a year based on priority in the province.

June  , 2018

Image : Fewa lake in Pokhara / Nepal Tour News

Nepal Tour News —

Kathmandu : Visit Nepal Year 2020 logo has been  unveiled today . VNY 2020 aims to welcome 2 million tourists in 2020.

The 1st meeting of the VNY 2020 main organizing committee chaired by Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari unveiled the final logo today.

A major exercise for the creation of the logo for the Government of Nepal’s Campaign “Visit Nepal Year 2020’ was carried out by the Nepal Tourism Board.

The logo truly depicts Nepal’s ethos and vibes and stands true to the message; Visit Nepal for Lifetime Experiences. The logo will be used as the main promotional branding of the VNY 2020 Campaign, according to NTB.

The logo designed by Uddhab Rimal was selected from 145 entries of the VNY2020 logo competition announced through Facebook by Nepal Tourism Board on 10th April 2018. The winner will receive a cash prize of Rs. 100 thousand.

June 8 , 2018

Nepal Tour News —

Kathmandu: Nepal’s International travel trade show ‘Himalayan Travel Mart 2018 ‘kicked off here amidst a ceremony on Friday.

The theme of the Himalayan Travel Mart (HMT) this year is “Nepal -Gateway to Himalayas “. Nepal aims to welcome 2 million tourists by 2020 and 5 million by 2030.

More than 160 delegates from 37 countries and 54 byers are participating in the Himalayan Travel Mart.

HMT is a B2B event for the tourism industry with active participation of global buyers, sellers, travel bloggers and travel industry professionals.

Inaugurating the conference entitled ‘The Sustainable Road to Five Million Visitors’, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali highlighted on incredible tourism attractions of Nepal.

He emphasized on planned tourism promotion to attract more visitors from two neighboring countries – India and China.

On the occasion, CEO of Nepal Tourism Board Deepak Raj Joshi urged the international delegates and travel bloggers to explore natural beauty and culture of Nepal.

The official magazine of Himalayan Travel Mart was launched during first session of conference.

Dr. Marcus Lee, Chairman of International China Investment Forum (ICIF) , delivering key note address on ‘ China Outbound Travel Market – How to attract Chinese visitors effectively’ , dwelt on various issues of tourism in China.

Dr. Chris Bottrill , newly elected  Chairman of Pacific Asia Travel Association ( PATA) , threw light on human capital development needs and opportunities in Asia and he world.

Similarly, Nepali film actor Rajesh Hamal, Indian film director Madhur Bhandarkar and photography tour operator William Vazquez dwelt on cinematic tourism during their address at the conference.

Everest summiteer Adrian Hayes and Philip McMaster focused on adventure tourism at the first session of the conference.

The 2nd Himalayan Travel Mart, hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and organized by Nepal Tourism Board in collaboration  with PATA International, PATA Nepal Chapter and the prominent tourism associations of Nepal, aims to promote Nepal as an ultimate adventure destination in the world tourism market.

International Travel Bloggers and Media Conference (ITBMC) and Buyers and Sellers Meet will also be held during Himalayan Travel Mart besides FAM trips for the ITBMC delegates and hosted buyers.

June 1 , 2018

Image: Nepal Travel BizNews

By Ramesh Tiwari —

Kathmandu: International Youth Creative Culture Week – 2018 and Sino-Nepal Cultural Communication Art Exhibition kicked off here amidst a program at Park Gallery.

The art exhibition, organized by Shanghai International Cultural Association and JIQIUXUAN, is aimed to strengthen cultural relationship between Nepal and China.

‘International Youth Creative Culture Week ‘(IYCCW) is a brand name for Shanghai’s foreign cultural exchanges.

The first IYCCW held in Shanghai in 2015 and the second IYCCW held in Ireland in 2016 has contributed to show the world of culture and innovative China through a series of cultural activities, according to Dominique Wong of Yuan Xuan Shanghai Cultural Development Co. and member of Chinese delegation visiting Nepal.

On the occasion, State Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Dhan Bahadur Budha highlighted on centuries – old cultural relations between the two countries.

Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in Nepal Ms. Cibai hoped that the exhibition would contribute in promoting cultural cooperation between the two countries.

Prof. Jiang Qigu, Chinese artist and Prof. of Art and painting at Art Institute of Chicago, threw light on different aspects of art and painting of Chinese artists.

Similarly, Vice Chancellor of Nepal Academy of Fine Arts Sharada Chitrakar and artist Sichu Chitrakar stressed on cultural exchanges between the two countries.

“The Chinese artists have contributed a lot in promoting Nepal’s art and culture in China since long .”

‘This year 2018 IYCCW has joined hands with Chinese traditional gems – artists in the field of calligraphy, painting and their outstanding works,’ said Dominique Wong.

She highlighted the importance of ancient silk road, ‘One Belt, One Road ‘and maritime silk route in promoting cultural cooperation between the countries of the world.

A large number of traditional and modern Chinese art, calligraphy, oil painting and art works are displayed at the exhibition.

Coordinator of the program Peter Ko opines that the art exhibition and culture week organized in Kathmandu with participation of renowned artists from China would contribute in consolidating people-to-people relation and cooperation between the two countries.

May 29 ,2018

 

 

Kathmandu ( AFP ) : Mount Everest’s Hillary Step - a rocky outcrop just below the summit - is now a slope, say climbers who recently returned from the mountain.

The condition of the rock face named after Everest’s first summiteer Edmund Hillary has been the subject of intense speculation since climbers last year declared it had gone. Others disagreed saying fresh snowfall had caused the confusion.

Mountaineers returning from the summit this month have unanimously said that what was once a near-vertical 12-metre rock face is now a gradual snowy slope and makes the final ascent quicker and easier.

“The Hillary Step is not like we’ve known it to be,” said Nepali guide Dawa Phinjo Lama Bhote, one of seven climbers AFP spoke to.

“A big stone of about five metres is gone. The area is now easier to climb,” added the seven-time Everest summiteer.

The step formed part of a narrow, exposed ridge connecting Everest’s south summit (8,749 metres) with the true summit (8,848 metres).

Hillary and Tenzing Norgay famously scrambled up the sheer step in 1953 when they became the first climbers to conquer Everest.

Since that first successful summit, all climbers summiting Everest via the southern route have used ropes to pull themselves up the formidable obstacle, before swinging one leg over a “saddle” at the top.

But straddling the top boulder and shuffling along the precipice is no longer necessary.

“The Hillary Step has changed. We now climb it on the right hand side going up a snow slope,” said British climber Kenton Cool, who made his 13th summit of Everest last week.

“It clearly doesn’t have the little corner between the snow and the rock that used to be there. There’s not the rock on the top of the step that you used to go ‘à cheval’ (straddle) and shuffle along.”

Climbers say the disappearance of the step has left little more than an undulating ridge to the summit.

“The area of the Hillary’s Step is a moderately steep snow ridge, but does not stand out more prominently than any other section between the south summit and main summit,” said a climber who declined to be named.

Climbers began speculating in 2016 that a powerful earthquake in Nepal the year before could have radically altered the step.

Geologists, however, have questioned if the 7.8-magnitude earthquake was powerful enough to shift rocks near Everest’s summit, which stands 450 kilometres east of the epicentre.

Climate change has emerged as another possible culprit. Some peaks in Europe’s Alps have been dramatically altered by warming temperatures as ice has repeatedly melted and refrozen, loosening rock and causing landslides.

But Dr Jeffrey Kargel of the US-based Planetary Science Institute said Everest’s extreme altitude would protect the Step from such a “freeze-thaw” cycle.

“It is far too cold near Everest’s summit, even on sunny summer days and (at) high noon,” said the climate change scientist, leaving the question of what has happened to the fabled rock hanging.

Nepali authorities - who make millions from climbers paying to ascend Everest each year - last year insisted it remained unchanged.

Head of Nepal’s tourism department Dinesh Bhattarai this year stood by that claim, saying: “I have not heard anything different this year.”

Meanwhile, climbers told AFP they were instructed by the department not to speak to the press about the fabled step, and warned they could face a mountaineering ban if they did.

May 23, 2018

Image : Mountaineers walk past the Hillary Step while pushing for the summit of Mount Everest on the south face from Nepal, in a file photo from 2009  -AFP

By Janita Gurung , Pradyumna J.B. Rana

This year marks a quarter century of the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) - an agreement among 196 countries to conserve the earth’s biological diversity while ensuring it is used sustainably and that the benefits from using genetic resources are shared fairly.

All eight countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH), from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east, are signatories to the convention. The HKH region hosts four biodiversity hotspots - the Himalaya, the Indo-Burma, the mountains of southeast China, and the mountains of Central Asia - that are home to species such as the critically endangered Himalayan brown bear and the white-rumped vulture.

Before 2000 there was significant biodiversity loss because of poaching, habitat loss, and unsustainable extraction of natural resources. This led to conservation action, which has resulted in noteworthy success stories.

Reclaiming endangered species

The giant panda, the Royal Bengal tiger and one-horned rhinoceros are some of the most famous species in the HKH. Their populations reached alarming lows by the 1990s, but recovered because of habitat conservation, stringent law enforcement to tackle poaching and illegal trade, and conservation outreach and education programs. The one-horned rhinoceros and giant panda were downgraded from “endangered” to “vulnerable” in 2008 and 2016.

While the Royal Bengal tiger is still endangered, its population has increased significantly. Park officers, law enforcement, local communities, and conservation organisations, such as Project Tiger in India and Terai Arc Landscape in Nepal, have helped. Bhutan” network of biological corridors linking nine protected areas allows tigers to traverse from lowland forests to high altitudes above 4,000 meters.

Local communities as agents of change

Women and men in the HKH benefit from biodiversity, through food, medicine, shelter, forage, clothing, and ecosystem services. For instance, Vaidyas and Amchis use herbs and animals parts to prepare medicines for several types of ailments.

More than a third of the total land in the HKH is protected. But conservation works best when local communities are involved. Buffer zones and conservation areas in the region” 488 protected areas engage local women and men in conservation. For example, there are community snow leopard rangers in Pakistan, Himal Rakshaks in Sikkim and community-based anti-poaching units in Nepal” Terai.

Biodiversity-based tourism is a major source of income in many parts of the HKH. Several thousand tourists come every year to the region to see Band-e-Amir National Park in Afghanistan, Inle Lake with its stilt houses and floating gardens in Myanmar, China” Hongyuan Grassland, India” Valley of Flowers, the naturally dammed lakes and black-necked cranes in Bhutan, the markhor in Pakistan, and the one-horned rhino in Nepal.

Biodiversity and local communities benefit from tourism income in protected areas: tourism generates cash for local communities and park fees are ploughed back for biodiversity conservation and community development.

Local communities are now benefiting further from the use of genetic resources through the CBD” Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Bill, which acknowledges the right of indigenous people over their biological resources and traditional knowledge. Seven of the eight HKH member countries have signed the bill, and six have ratified it.

New challenges in the coming decades

The past 25 years of biodiversity conservation have produced several success stories. Governments, law enforcement agencies, communities, conservation organizations and the private sector have all played an important role. The coming decades, however, will pose new challenges. For instance, the increasing human population and decreasing wildlife habitats will cause more conflict between the two.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has recently identified pressing issues for the Asia and the Pacific, which includes the HKH region. Invasive alien species, climate change and associated extreme events, and increasing waste and pollution are driving biodiversity loss. Biodiversity is extremely important for livelihoods and sustainable development in the HKH region, and collective efforts for its conservation will continue to be a priority in the coming years.

(Janita Gurung is Program Coordinator- Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI)/ICIMOD. Pradyumna J.B. Rana is Research Associate- Ecosystem Services at ICIMOD. )

May 22, 2018

 

Nepal Tour News —

Kathmandu: Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) organized 3rd TAAN International Langtang Marathon 2018 in Langtang region with the theme of “Adventure Sports for Sustainable Tourism”.

The 42.195 kilometers marathon started from Kyanjin Gompa (3,870 m) and went through Godha Tabela, Lama Hotel, Rimche, Sherpagaon, Khangjim before concluding at Syabrubensi on Saturday.

A total of 100 runners participated  at the event including 5 foreigners.

In the men’s category, Khagendra Bhatt from Nepal Army won first with 3 hours 49 minutes and 27 seconds.

Trailing behind in second was Bharat Khatri from Nepal Army with 4 hours 6 minutes and 18 seconds while Subas Karki secured third with 4 hours 7 minutes and 58 seconds.

Similarly, in the women’s category, Nirkala Kulung Rai from Solukhumbu , Purna Maya Rai from Solukhumbu and  Sarita Basi from Nepal Army won the top three positions respectively .

TAAN handed award of Rs. 105,000 , Rs. 78,750, and 52,500 along with certificate and medal to the winners.

On the occasion, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari highly evaluated the initiative of TAAN for organizing the event of national and international importance.

‘Tourism in Langtang region was adversely affected after the massive earthquake of 2015, but Langtang valley has received maximum number of tourists after the initiation taken by TAAN organizing International Langtang Marathon regularly, ‘he said.

Similarly, member of House of Representative Mohan Acharya, TAAN President Nava Raj Dahal, First Vice-  President Jeeban Thapa Magar, Sports and Event Management Coordinator Ritu Gyamdan and TAAN Executive Member Rajan Prashad Kapri shed light on various aspects of adventure tourism and the activities of the association, according to a release issued by TAAN media coordinator Gopal Shrestha.

May 20, 2018

NepalTourNews-

Kathmandu: A total of 386,030 tourists visited Nepal in the first four months of 2018 via air and land routes.

Nepal received 98,650 international tourists in April 2018, with a healthy increment of 11.4 per cent as compared to the arrival figures of April 2017 according to the Department of Immigration.

The country had received 287,380 international tourists during January - March of 2018.

The tourists entered Nepal through Tribhuwan International Airport and other border entry points namely, Rasuwagadhi , Kakarbhitta, Belhiya, Gaddachowki , Jamunaha and Dhangadhi.

A total of 16,612 Indian tourists and 12,552 Chinese tourists visited Nepal in April 2018 by land and air routes.

Tourist arrivals from China continue to soar as in the previous months and grew by 45.9 per cent  in April 2018 in comparison to the arrivals in the same months last year.

The overall arrivals from the SAARC countries registered a positive growth of 8.5 per cent in April as compared to the same month last year.

Arrivals from Asian countries have also recorded positive growth in April 2018, including increased visitors from Malaysia and Thailand.

In regards to European source markets, the arrivals from France has increased and the arrivals from the UK and Germany slightly declined in April this year.

Similarly, tourist arrivals from USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand also increased in April 2018 as compared to the figures of 2017.

The sustained growth in international arrivals to Nepal since 2016 was the result of concerted efforts in positioning Nepal in the international market as an attractive and safe destination, a press statement issued by the Nepal Tourism Board stated.

Top 5 tourists generating countries (by land and air ) April , 2018

India-16,612

China-12,552

USA-8,191

UK-6,072

France-4,446

Image : NepalTourNews

May 16, 2018

NepalTourNews —

Kathmandu: Himalayan Travel Mart (HTM) 2018 is scheduled to kick off on June 1 under the theme of “The Sustainable Road to 5 Million Visitors”.

The second Himalayan Travel Mart aims towards showcasing Nepal as an international gateway for tourism in the entire Himalayan Region.

HTM is expected to play a vital role in achieving the target of ‘Vision Five Million’ campaign that aims to bring 5 million tourists in Nepal by 2030.

“The event like HTM will pave the way by building the foundation in achieving the Govt. of Nepal’s envisaged target of vision 2020.”

More than 225 foreign delegates are expected to participate in the three -day event including 56 buyers from 28 different countries.

The International Travel Bloggers and Media Conference (ITBMC) to be held on 2 June aims to promote Nepal as a most promising tourism destination, bringing together the professional international travel bloggers and photographers among others.

The bloggers will discuss latest trends, contemporary practices in digital marketing, branding, business promotion, importance of blogging and different dynamics of marketing and development of travel and tourism, according to PATA Nepal Chapter.

The ITMBC delegates along with hosted buyers will be facilitated with Pre-Mart familiarization trips to different touristic destinations in Nepal.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (Govt. of Nepal) is hosting the 2nd Himalayan Travel Mart (HTM 2018) from June 1-3, 2018 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The event is being organized by Nepal Tourism Board in collaboration and partnership with PATA Int’l , Nepal Airlines Corporation , PATA Nepal Chapter (Event Organizer) and other tourism associations of Nepal.

May 14, 2018

Full text of India-Nepal Joint Statement during the State Visit of Prime Minister of India to Nepal (May 11-12, 2018) -

The Prime Minister of India His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi is on a State Visit to Nepal from 11 to 12 May 2018 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Nepal The Rt. Hon’ble K P Sharma Oli.

Marking their second bilateral Summit in 2018, the two Prime Ministers held delegation level talks on 11 May 2018 in an atmosphere of utmost warmth and cordiality that characterizes the deep friendship and understanding between the two countries.

The two Prime Ministers recalled their meeting in New Delhi during the State visit of Prime Minister Oli in April 2018 and agreed to maintain the momentum generated by the visit by taking effective measures for the implementation of all the agreements and understandings reached in the past. They also agreed that effective implementation of the bilateral initiatives in agriculture, railway linkages and inland waterways development, as agreed upon by the two sides during the recent visit of Prime Minister Oli to India, would have transformational impact in these areas.

While reviewing the close and multifaceted relations between the two countries at different levels, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their resolve to work together to take bilateral relations to newer heights by strengthening ongoing cooperation in diverse spheres as well as expanding partnership for socio-economic development on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual trust, respect and mutual benefit.

The two Prime Ministers emphasized the need for regular convening of bilateral mechanisms, including Nepal-India Joint Commission at Foreign/External Affairs Ministers level, to review the overall state of bilateral relations, and for the expeditious implementation of the economic and development cooperation projects.

The two Prime Ministers underscored the importance of trade and economic ties between India and Nepal. Expressing concern over Nepal’s growing trade deficit with India, Prime Minister Oli stated that measures to address this deficit need to be taken. In this context, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the outcome of the recently held Inter-Governmental Committee meeting on Trade, Transit and Cooperation to control unauthorized trade to jointly initiate a comprehensive review of the bilateral Treaty of Trade, and to consider amendments to the Treaty of Transit and related Agreements with a view to further facilitating Nepal’s access to the Indian market, enhancing overall bilateral trade, and facilitating Nepal’s transit trade.

The two Prime Ministers underlined the catalytic role of connectivity in stimulating economic growth and promoting movement of people. They agreed to take further steps to enhance the economic and physical connectivity by air, land, and water. Recognizing the vibrant people to people contacts and friendly bilateral ties, the two Prime Ministers directed the respective officials to expand cooperation in civil aviation sector, including early technical discussion on additional air entry routes to Nepal by respective technical teams.

The two Prime Ministers reiterated the importance of advancing cooperation in water resources for mutual benefit in areas such as river training works, inundation and flood management, irrigation, and to enhance pace of implementation of ongoing bilateral projects. They also expressed satisfaction over constitution of the joint team, which will visit areas affected by inundation and floods and consider appropriate measures for sustainable solution.

The two Prime Ministers jointly laid the foundation stone of 900 MW Arun-III hydro-electric project in Nepal. They expressed hope that operationalization of the project would help enhance cooperation in the generation and trade of power between the two countries. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the outcome of the recently concluded meeting of the Joint Steering Committee on cooperation in the power sector held on 17 April 2018. They agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in power sector in line with the bilateral Power Trade Agreement.

Prime Minister Modi also visited Janakpur and Muktinath and attended civic receptions in Kathmandu and Janakpur.

With a view to further strengthening the close religious and cultural ties between the two countries and peoples, the two Prime Ministers launched Nepal-India Ramayana Circuit connecting Janakpur, the birthplace of Sita, with Ayodhya and other sites associated with the epic Ramayana. In Janakpur, the two Prime Ministers flagged off the inaugural direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya.

The two Prime Ministers directed their respective officials to address outstanding matters by September 2018, with the objective of advancing cooperation in all areas.

The two Prime Ministers underscored the importance of regional and sub-regional cooperation under BIMSTEC, SAARC, and BBIN frameworks for forging meaningful cooperation in identified sectors.

The two Prime Ministers agreed that the landmark third visit of Prime Minister Modi to Nepal has further strengthened the age-old friendly relations between the two countries and has injected a fresh impetus to our growing partnership.

Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Oli for his gracious invitation and warmth of hospitality.

Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Prime Minister Oli to pay a visit to India. Prime Minister Oli accepted the invitation; dates will be finalized through diplomatic channels.

Kathmandu  12 May, 2018