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Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board

In this Issue :

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Inauguration of Visit Lumbini Year 2012 on Jan 14
Tourism Crisis Management Unit establishes in Pokhara
Nepal participates TTF-Chennai
Homestay website launched
Nepal's first female mahout leads elephant safaris

Inauguration of Visit Lumbini Year 2012 on Jan 14

As part of its ongoing commitment towards tourism development, and high priority accorded to it, the government of Nepal is inaugurating Visit Lumbini Year (VLY) 2012, launching Tourism Vision 2020 and simultaneously announcing completion of Nepal Tourism Year 2011 (NTY 2011) Campaign on January 14, 2012 at Central Canal in Lumibini. The programme is scheduled to be addressed by Rt. Hon'ble President, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav.

After the successful completion of Nepal Tourism Year 2011, Nepal is celebrating yet another event- VLY 2012. The reason behind celebrating VLY is to unite the world to work towards creating a peaceful society through Buddhas peace message; and to make the birthplace of Buddha a centre of global attraction. VLY 2012 is a major linkage between NTY 2011 and Tourism Vision 2020 as it serves to sustain the achievement of NTY 2011 and improve livelihoods of the people through tourism as envisioned in Vision 2020.

The campaign, Nepal Tourism Year 2011 (NTY 2011), was a synthesis of past experiences of the government and future aspiration of the private sector. It also marks the beginning of new mission in the new context and envisages a way to an overall development of the tourism industry of Nepal. The successful completion of campaign, NTY 2011 has given clearly two messages to the world: one, Nepal has come to peaceful and stable situation after a decade long political uncertainty; and another, tourism has been unanimously regarded as a vehicle of economic transformation. Tourism also proved to be major binding factor among all major political parties who have agreed on the common agenda of tourism and hence made public commitment that there would not be any strike throughout the campaign year of 2011.

The event in Lumbini also marks the launching of Tourism Vision 2020. Since Tourism sector in Nepal has emerged over the past fifty years as a key instrument for economic growth, development and job creation hence Tourism Vision 2020 has set out its goal to increase annual international tourist arrivals to Nepal to two million by 2020 and augment economic opportunities and increase employment in tourism sector to one million. Tourism Vision 2020 serves as an easy-reference guide to all the major stakeholders of tourism sector for tourism development.

During the campaign, many national and international events were organized that helped position the image of Nepal as a safe and happening destination in the world. As a result, tourist arrivals grew by 22.1% in 2011 as compared to 2010.

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Tourism Crisis Management Unit establishes in Pokhara

An interaction was held in Lakeside in Pokhara on January 5, 2012 to discuss about the mitigation and coordination of crisis related with tourists outside the Kathmandu Valley. Coordinated by Nepal Tourism Board, the interaction In Pokhara was attended by government officials and head of tourism related associations including Mr. Aditya Baral, Director, PR and Publicity, Nepal Tourism Board, Mr. Shanta Subba, President, Himalayan Rescue Association, and representatives from tourism associations' Paschimanchal Chapter, representatives of Nepal Army and Nepal Police.

A Tourism Crisis Management Unit has been formed in Pokhara under the coordinatorship of President of Pokhara Tourism Council. The Members of the Tourism Crisis Management Unit Pokhara are President- NATTA Paschimanchal Chapter, President- TAAN Pokhara, President- REBAN Pokhara and President- HAN Pokhara. Similarly, the representatives of Nepal Army, Armed Police, Nepal Police, District Administrative office, Tourist Police, Federation of Nepalese Journalists Kaski Branch Office and Tourism Office are its member. Incharge of Nepal Tourism Board's Regional Office, Pokhara will be its member-secretary.

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Nepal participates TTF-Chennai

Indias biggest travel show Travel and Trade Fair (TTF) was successfully held in Chennai Convention Center, Chennai from January 6-8, 2012. Participated by over 200 exhibitors from 5 (Five) countries and 20 states of India, the event was 35% bigger than it was last year.

The international participation at TTF Chennai 2012 was led by Nepal, the Partner Country and featuring Hong Kong, China, Japan and India.

Nepal Tourism Board also participated in the inaugural press conference as well as organized a business-to-business session for the Nepali travel trade attending TTF Chennai.

Nepals participation at TTF Chennai featured a customized Nepal pavilion with colourful graphics with special focus on pilgrimage and soft adventure attraction that Nepal has to offer to the South Indian visitors. NTB received queries for mainly pilgrimage and leisure tours. South Indian held the highest esteem for Lord Pashupatinath and most were interested to visit Manakamana, Muktinath and Damodar Kunda. The younger generation had queries for soft adventure and leisure tourism.

The NTB was represented by Mr. Diwakar Bikram Rana, Sr. Manager of Tourism Marketing and Promotion Department and Mr. Khem Raj Timalsena, Officer of Tourism Products and Resources Development Department. The Four private sector companies that participated under the NTB banner were Prime Holidays Travel and Tours, Manakamana Travels, Nepal Allways Tours and Travels and Shrestha Treks and Expeditions.

NTB was awarded the best Promotional Material Award for the various collaterals such as Lumbini, Mt. Everest and Bhaktapur Posters, Travellers Information and Adventure Attraction Brochures, National Parks and Pilgrimage Tourism Booklets, Information and Religious CD ROMs and typical Nepali Dolls Souvenirs etc. that NTB distributed from Nepal Pavilion to the trade and consumer attending TTF 2012 Chennai.

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Homestay website launched

The official web site of Nepal Homestay http://www.nepalhomestay.org.np has been launched from January 1, 2012. In the website, all kind of information related with homestay in Nepal has been incorporated.

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Nepal's first female mahout leads elephant safaris

Nepal's first female mahout, one of only a handful of women across Asia to be selected to drive elephants, spoke Tuesday of her pride at breaking into the all-male profession.

Meena Chaudhary, 33, was selected for the highly-specialised role after being picked from a female-only shortlist of 15 candidates as part of a government scheme to get more women working in the public sector.

"Women are flying aircraft. So, driving an elephant is peanuts," she said. "I wanted to prove that we're equal to men. I showed it by being an elephant driver."

Mahouts take tourists on elephant-back safaris in southern Nepal's Chitwan national park, home to the endangered royal Bengal tiger, the rare one-horned rhino and other exotic animals and birds.

The job has traditionally been a men-only preserve because women are often considered weak in the conservative, Hindu-majority Himalayan nation.

Chaudhary, who has led up to half a dozen drives a day since taking on the role two months ago, said she was proud to be breaking that stereotype.

"We were trained for three days on how to treat elephants and how to drive them towards the jungle," she told AFP.

"We were also asked to climb trees and swim," she said, adding that another woman had now been selected to join her.

But she told AFP she was full of anxiety on her first day in the job.

"I was not used to dealing with so many people. I was also afraid that something might go wrong. But everything was all right," said Chaudhary, who receives a monthly pay of 10,000 rupees ($120).

Mahouts are often introduced to their elephants as children and stay with one animal for decades. They drive their mounts using oral commands and pressure from their feet on the elephant's ears.

There are around 100 mahouts in Nepal, with a handful paid by the government and the rest employed by the hotel industry in Chitwan.

Every year thousands of people visit the park, a haven for wildlife and one of Nepal's biggest tourist attractions. ( News Courtesy: AFP)

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Photo of the week
Interaction on Tourism Crisis Management at Pokhara on
January 5, 2012

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Editor: Sarad Pradhan
Asst. Editor: Sudhan Subedi
Media Center | Nepal Tourism Board
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Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has sought to ensure that the contents of this newsletter are accurate at the time of transmission. NTB does not accept responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or inconvenience arising in connection with the contents of this newsletter. Nepal Tourism Board wishes to thank all stakeholders for their wonderful support and assistance for promoting Nepal as a happening destination. We request all tourism industry stakeholders to send us news and articles at mediacenter@ntb.org.np , ssubedi@ntb.org.np or ntbmediacenter@gmail.com to include them in the weekly E-newsletters.