NepalTourNews —

Kathmandu: India and Nepal have committed to consolidate bilateral relations and cooperation to a new height on the basis of equality, mutual trust, respect and benefit.

Nepali Prime Minister K. P. Oli and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed on strengthening cooperation between the two countries during PM Oli’s three-day state visit (April 6-8,2018) to India.

India and Nepal agreed to construct a new electrified rail line, with India’s financial support, connecting the border city of Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal with the objective of expanding connectivity to enhance people-to-people linkages and promote economic growth and development.

The two Prime Ministers appreciated the progress made in the implementation of Phase-I of the India-Nepal cross-border rail link projects.

The two leaders noted that the stretch of railway lines from Jayanagar to Janakpur/Kurtha and from Jogbani to Biratnagar Custom Yard will be completed in 2018, and that work on the remaining stretch of the ongoing rail link projects- Jayanagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas and Jogbani-Biratnagar will be taken forward on priority.

The two leaders emphasized the importance of implementing the remaining three links under Phase-II of the India-Nepal cross-border rail link projects: New Jalpaiguri-Kakarbhitta, Nautanwa-Bhairahawa, and  Nepalgunj Road-Nepalgunj.

Similarly, both the Prime Ministers recognised the untapped potential of inland waterways to contribute towards overall economic development of the region.

“Taking cognizance of their geographies and noting the development of inland waterways in both countries, the two Prime Ministers took the landmark decision to develop the inland waterways for the movement of cargo, within the framework of trade and transit arrangements, providing additional access to sea for Nepal. This new initiative would enable cost effective and efficient movement of cargo.”

To facilitate the movement of traffic-in-transit, the two leaders directed their respective officials to formulate and mutually agree upon the requisite procedures and modalities for including inland waterways as an additional means of transport in the Protocol to the Treaty of Transit between India and Nepal, according to a statement issued by both the governments in Delhi and Kathmandu.

Joint Statement during the State Visit of Prime Minister of Nepal to India (6-8 April 2018)

The Rt. Hon’ble Mr. K.P. Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal, is on a State visit to India from April 6-8, 2018, at the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.

On April 7, 2018, the two Prime Ministers comprehensively reviewed the entire spectrum of multifaceted ties between the two countries. They welcomed the growing partnership between the two governments, private sector and at the people’s level. The two Prime Ministers resolved to work together to take bilateral relations to newer heights on the basis of equality, mutual trust, respect and benefit.

Recalling that the close and friendly India-Nepal relations are built on the strong foundation of shared historical and cultural links and close people to people contacts, the two Prime Ministers underscored the importance of regular high-level political exchanges in cementing bilateral ties.

Prime Minister Oli stated that his government attaches high importance to further strengthening friendly relations with India. He expressed the desire of the Government of Nepal to develop bilateral relations in a way so as to benefit from India’s progress and prosperity for economic transformation and development. Prime Minister Modi assured Prime Minister Oli that India remains committed to strengthening its partnership with Nepal as per the priorities of the Government of Nepal.

Prime Minister Modi stated that Government of India’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ is a guiding framework for India’s engagement with its neighbours for a shared vision of inclusive development and prosperity. Prime Minister Oli stated that after the landmark political transformation, his Government has given priority to economic transformation with the motto ‘Samriddha Nepal Sukhi Nepali’. Prime Minister Modi congratulated the people and the Government of Nepal for successful conduct of local level, federal parliament and first-ever provincial elections in Nepal and appreciated their vision for stability, and development.

The two Prime Ministers inaugurated the Integrated Check Post at Birgunj in Nepal. They hoped that its early operationalization will enhance cross-border trade and transit of goods and movement of people bringing greater opportunities for shared growth and development.

The two Prime Ministers witnessed the ground breaking ceremony of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj cross-border petroleum products pipeline at Motihari, India.

The two Prime Ministers underlined the need for expeditious implementation of bilateral projects in Nepal, and to reinvigorate the existing bilateral mechanisms to promote cooperative agenda across diverse spheres.

Three separate joint statements on the following key areas of mutual interest were issued today:

India-Nepal: New Partnership in Agriculture

Expanding Rail Linkages: Connecting Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal

New Connectivity between India and Nepal through Inland Waterways

The two Prime Ministers agreed that the visit has imparted new dynamism to the multifaceted partnership between the two countries.

Prime Minister Oli thanked Prime Minister Modi for the invitation and warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation.

Prime Minister Oli extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to pay an early visit to Nepal. Prime Minister Modi accepted the invitation; dates would be finalized through diplomatic channels.

New Delhi

April 7, 2018

 

 

NepalTourNews —

Kathmandu : The government has committed to focus on activities to attract 2.5 million tourists by 2025.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has unveiled its 100-day action plan listing different activities under 18 - point work plan.

The action plan includes improvement of Tribhuwan International Airport by opening at least for 21 hours every day in order to reduce the air traffic congestion.

The TIA management will create environment for collecting baggage within one hour for travelers from international arrivals.

Unveiling the plan, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Adhikari committed to change travel and tourism scenario within 100-days.

“Visit Nepal Year 2020 has been approved with an objective of increasing the international tourist arrival to 1.5 million per annum by the end of 2020. It is necessary to make our efforts with an aim to increase the number to 2.5 million per year by 2025, and foreign currency earnings by 3400 million USD. ‘

The ministry will focus mainly on policy reforms, tourism infrastructure development, aviation infrastructure development and strengthening, development of skilled human resources, tourism promotion and marketing and tourism products development to achieve the goals.

“Tourism sector will achieve a visible change only when upgrading of TIA, expediting of the construction works of Gautam Buddha and Pokhara Regional Airports and moving ahead towards the construction of Second International Airport at Neejgadh take place,” the action plan states.

March 30, 2018

Image : Minister for Culture , Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari unveiling 100-day action plan on tourism development.

NepalTourNews —

Kathmandu :The government of Karnali Pradesh has decided to observe the upcoming Nepali year as  “Rara-Karnali Visit Year-2075” , with an aim to lure more than five hundred thousand domestic and international tourists to the province .

Addressing a press meet held here today , Chief Minister of the Karnali Pradesh Mahendra Bahadur Shahi hoped that the people of the province would be benefitted from the tourism campaign .

“ The Karnali Pradesh is very rich in natural resources and tourism products ,” he said .

At present , the tourist arrival figure is about 50,000 a year in the Karnali region of the country.

The province government has already formed committees for successful implementation of the plans to observe the year.

Rara Lake ,situated in Mugu district in the Karnali Pradesh, is the largest lake of Nepal.

Karnali Pradesh is one of the seven federal provinces of Nepal formed by a new constitution adopted on 20 September 2015.

Karnali is the largest province of Nepal with an area of 30,209 sq.km with a population of 15,70,481.

Karnali Pradesh consist of 10 districts - Dailekh , Dolpa , Humla  , Jajarkot  ,Jumla  ,Kalikot  , Mugu, Salyan  ,Surkhet  and Western Rukum .

March 22, 2018

Image by Travel BizNews

NepalTourNews —

Kathmandu: The Government of Norway and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) have signed an agreement for cooperation in sustainable mountain development of the Hindu Kush countries.

Achieving transformative change in the lives of mountain people across the eight countries sharing the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – is the shared aim of the Government of Norway and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), according to a statement issued by ICIMOD.

Signing an agreement for 100 million NOK, (about 13 million US Dollars), supporting that change, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway and ICIMOD seek to work towards the fulfillment of high priority and HKH-specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The work will support ICIMOD’s overall aim of sustainable mountain development for mountains and people and will also promote collaboration between countries to support SDGs.

Focus areas of the grant include work on the cryosphere and water resources, adaptation to climate plus other changes, mitigation of air pollution and sustainable energy.

Norway’s Minister of International Development, Nikolai Astrup said, “It is crucial everyone comes together to support sustainable development in the region through inclusive poverty alleviation, knowledge development, and regional cooperation. ICIMOD will be a key actor in achieving this.”

ICIMOD’s Director General David Molden also affirmed that financial support for ICIMOD from the Government of Norway has “significantly enabled us to deepen our engagements across countries of the HKH. With this long-term funding, ICIMOD retains its flexibility to effectively respond to shared mountain priorities of our regional member countries, and to promote cooperation between countries to meet environmental and development challenges.”

ICIMOD is a regional knowledge development and learning centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – based in Kathmandu, Nepal.

March 20,2018

Image :ICIMOD’s Director General, David Molden (L)and Norway’s Minister of International Development, Nikolai Astrup (Photo: Jitendra Raj Bajracharya/ICIMOD)

 

 

NepalTourNews —

Kathmandu: At least 49 passengers were killed in an United Bangladesh Airlines  plane crash at the Tribhuwan International Airport on Monday.

An aircraft of United Bangladesh Airlines ( DH8D) en route to Kathmandu from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, caught a fire while landing at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) at 2:18 pm today.

The US Bangla Air BS- 211 was carrying 71 passengers, including four crew members. There were 33 Nepali passengers in the plane.

Some 22 passengers are currently undergoing treatment at six hospitals of Kathmandu valley.

The government has formed a six-member probe commission to investigate the crash. Rescue teams of Nepali security bodies had brought the fire under control.

The crash is said to be due to errors of the crew members according to preliminary reports.

March 12 , 2018

NepalTourNews —

Kathmandu : Chief Minister of Province 5 Shankar Pokharel has said that the number of tourists visiting  Lumbini would increase to five million a year in the next five years.

At present, the total number of domestic and international tourists visiting Lumbini is around 500 thousand a year, he said while speaking at a function organized at Lumbini Sanskitik Municipality in Bhairahawa recently.

“We will focus on infrastructure development and promotional activities to meet the target of 5 million tourists in Lumbini,” he added.

He said that he was studying the concept of developing a monorail that connects Ramgram of Parasi with Tilaurakot of Kapilvastu.

He said that his government would end the trend of tourists visiting Lumbini only for a couple of

hours via India carrying lunch packets in their bag.

A concrete plan would be formulated so that the tourists spend at least two days in Lumbini, he said. He stressed on developing skilled tourist guides and enhancing the capacity of the Tourist Information Centre located in Lumbini.

According to the Lumbini Development Trust, a total of 301,240 foreign tourists visited Lumbini in 2017, including 155,444 Indian visitors.

There were 48,528 visitors from Sri Lanka, Thailand (27,603), Myanmar (21,531), China (15,770), S Korea (5,103), Vietnam (5,043), Bhutan (2,278), UK (1,677), Germany (1,636) and Australia (1,625).

March 2018

 

NepalTourNews  —-

Kathmandu: Nepal and Pakistan have committed to strengthen friendship and mutual cooperation between the two countries.

The two countries committed to strengthen cooperation during Pakistani Prime Minister’s visit to Nepal.  Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi visited Nepal on 5-6 March 2018, as part of Pakistan’s pro-active and outreach efforts to engage with regional countries.

Prime Minister Abbasi conveyed felicitations to the Nepali leadership on the successful conclusion of its democratic process, resulting in the formation of a new government.

Abbasi congratulated the newly elected Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli. He called on the President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari during his visit to Nepal.

Pakistani PM Abbasi and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli exchanged views on political and economic matters.

“During the meeting, matters related to enhancing bilateral cooperation in the fields of investment, trade, tourism, agriculture, and human resources development were discussed. The two leaders agreed to hold regularly the meetings of bilateral mechanisms. They also exchanged views on revitalising the SAARC process in the spirit of the Charter,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Pakistani Embassy in Kathmandu said that the visit was part of Pakistan’s pro-active and outreach efforts to engage with regional countries.

It said that Pakistan has taken the visit as an opportunity to further expand and strengthen bilateral relations across all areas of mutual interest, including trade, education, tourism, defence and people to people contact.

“Nepal is an important regional country and a close friend. Our ties with Nepal are characterised by cordiality, mutual respect and commonality of interest. Our support to each other at the bilateral and multilateral forums has remained indispensable for both the sides,” said the Embassy.

´Nepal is an important regional country and a close friend. Our ties with Nepal are characterized by cordiality, mutual respect and commonality of interests. Our support to each other at bilateral and multilateral fora has remained indispensible for both the sides. ´

According to a statement issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, all issues of bilateral importance were discussed and it was agreed to enhance cooperation in political, economic, education and cultural fields during the meeting . Both sides resolved to explore new sectors for bilateral economic cooperation.

It was also noted that the economic relations and the extent of bilateral trade were not commensurate with the political goodwill and potential that existed in both the countries. It was agreed to further strengthen people to people contacts and parliamentary exchanges.

“Prime Minister briefed the Nepalese side about CPEC and its benefits for the region. They emphasized the need to reactivate Pakistan-Nepal Joint Economic Commission and the Joint Business Council to enhance volume of bilateral trade,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Abbasi stated that Pakistan is committed to the SAARC process and urged the leaders of Nepal to play their role for early convening of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad.

March 6, 2018

NepalTourNews —

Kathmandu : Nepal participated at Guangzhou  International Tourism Exhibition (GITF)at Guangzhou recently.

Nepal was awarded the’ Most Popular Tourist Destination’ during a special ceremony during GITF in Guangzhou , a major city in southern China.

Guangzhou, close to Macao and Hong Kong, is  not only a thriving port and transportation hub but carries traditional history and trade legacies of the Silk Route era connecting Asia with Europe.

During the three-day fair ( March 1-3 ), business-to-business meetings were held with tour operators  for building network and fostering business contacts with the Chinese counterparts according to a statement issued by NTB.

Chinese tourists stay in Nepal for one week on an average and prefer to visit places like Kathmandu, Nagarkot, Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini and are interested in cultural tours, soft adventure, shopping and photography.

Total number of Chinese international travelers was 129 million in 2017, many of whom opted to travel to Thailand, their most popular destination in South East Asia and their preferred South Asian destination Sri Lanka.

Connected by various Airlines like Air China, China Southern, China Eastern, Sichuan Airlines, and Cathay Dragon , Nepal received more than 104 thousand Chinese visitors in 2017.

Nepal has been conducting  promotional events in cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu, Xian and adjoining cities .

Co-exhibitors at the Nepal stall were Adventure Outdoor, Creative Adventure Nepal, Peace and Joy Tour and Travel, Simrik Air, and Unleash Nepal International .

March 2018

 

NepalTourNews —

Kathmandu :  The Special Court  convicted two former officials of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and a tourism entrepreneur on corruption charges.

A division bench of Special Court Chairman Baburam Regmi and members Dwarika Man Joshi and Narayan Prasad Pokhrel slapped seven years jail term to former Chief Executive Officer at Nepal Tourism Board Subash Niraula, while six years imprisonment each to Chief Account Officer Anil Kumar Das and Worldwide Travel’s Proprietor Mahendra Khanal.

The court handed down the seven year’s jail term along with the fine of Rs 8.5 million to Niraula, and Rs 5.4 million as compensation to the NTB.

Das is handed down six year jail term along with the fine of Rs 5.2 million and Rs 2.4 million as compensation to the NTB.

The verdict came in response to the charge sheet registered by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority ( CIAA ), accusing 23 officials at NTB of involving in the corruption worth Rs 1.39 billion three years back.

Earlier , the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) of Nepal filed a charge sheet at the Special Court against 23 employees associated with the Nepal Tourism Board ( NTB)on charge of their involvement in corruption and financial irregularities .

CIAA has demanded Rs 816 million as the penalty from the accused.They have been charged with indulging in corruption under different headings including submitting fake bills of office expenditures among other fake bills.

Those facing the CIAA charges in April 2015 were :

NTB Officiating CEO Subash Nirola – NRs 33,72,55029 ( US$ 1 equal to approx. NRS 100)

Former Executive Chief Prachandaman Shrestha – RS 28, 80,130

Senior Director Nandini Lahe Thapa- Rs 34,16, 622

Senior Director Aditya Baral- Rs 41,78095

Director Hikmat Singh Aiyr – Rs 16,54,63612

Director Kashiraj Bhandari – Rs 34,84465

Senior Manager Leela Bahadur Baniya-Rs 100260

Senior Manager Diwakar Bikram Rana – Rs 255046

Manager Anil Das – Rs 17,94,98043

Manager Dhruba Kumar Rai- Rs 627399

Manager Laxman Gautam – Rs 368156

Similarly, the charge sheet included against the then Chairman of NTB and Secretary Sushil Ghimire, the then member and Secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation Sharad Chandra Poudel,  Megh Bahadur Pandey, Tikaram Sapkota, Pamphadevi Dhamala, Dilli Prasad Siwakoti, Rewat Bahadur Thapa, Dhruba Narayan Shrestha, Furba Gyaljen Sherpa, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal Director General Ratischandra Lal Suman and Ranjan Krishna Aryal .

2018

NepalTourNews —

Kathmandu : PATA Nepal Chapter along with NTB, Nepal Airlines and 11 different travel trade companies participated  at the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2018 .

PATA ATRTCM 2018 , held  in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) , brought together international experts at the forefront of the adventure travel industry from both the private and public sectors to discuss the issues and opportunities in travel and tourism.

Different 11 private travel trade companies from Nepal participated in the mart including Langtang Ri Trekking and Expedition , Highground Adventures Nepal, Royal Mountain Travel, Explore Himalaya Travel & Adventure, Himalayan Holidays Trekking, Adventure Outdoor Treks and Expedition , Nepal Sanctuary Treks, Himalayan Kailash Travels & Tours, Shivalaya Tours, KGH Group of Hotels and Resorts  and Soaltee Crowne Plaza.

The event was opened by Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Executive Director – Tourism Sector, Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi on February 21.

Delegates heard from a diverse line-up of international speakers at the conference under the theme ‘Adventure in a New Era’. The topics included ‘2018 Adventure Travel Trends – looking ahead to 2021′, ‘Partnerships for a New Era’, ‘New Operators for a New Era’, ‘The Middle Eastern Adventure Traveller’, ‘Micro Moments: The secret to always winning in an era of Facebook and Instagram’, ‘Stimulating Innovation in a New Era’, ‘Local Hood: The end of tourism’, and ‘Over Tourism: Loving Destinations to Death’.

“ Nepal has so much to offer to quench the thirst of all types of adventure seekers and this fastest-growing segment of travel is something that can really affirm the untapped potential of Nepalese Tourism. Nepal has to be well marketed as an ultimate adventure destination intensifying the optimum potentials arises from a true blend of nature, culture, and adventure; and incorporating the latest trends in digital marketing.” Suresh Singh Budal , PATA Nepal CEO said during the discussions.

The fair provided an ideal platform to showcase Nepal as an exotic adventure destination with its umpteen options for activities in this segment according to PATA Nepal.

With five airlines flying more than 70 flights per week in this sector, the market carries huge potential in terms of high-end clientele. Even though the market has yet to be explored well, Nepal is well known as an adventure destination in the Middle East countries.

Prince Bandar bin Khalid bin Fahd successfully climbed the world’s highest mountain Mt. Everest of Nepal on May 19, 2012, and reportedly became the first Saudi Arabian to climb seven summits and the highest peaks in all seven continents.

As per official data, 5,000 to 6,000 Arabian tourists visit Nepal, every year.

With a little investment in market research and branding, Nepal with its wealth of adventure and natural beauty could inspire the Arabian travelers to explore other regions like Langtang, Annapurna, Kathmandu valley and Mustang further north, and to Pokhara and Chitwan for nature and leisure activities.

2018