Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board
(Printable version)
June 1, 2012
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Sustained growth in International tourist arrivals continues
5th International Sagarmatha Day Celebrated
Nepal tourism promoted in USA
Playing on air: World’s Highest Gig for charity
Tamang wins Everest Marathon

Sustained growth in International tourist arrivals continues

The upward trend which has been continuing since June 2009 is maintained in the fifth month of the year 2012 showing clearly the rising travel demand towards Nepal.

The figures released by Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) reveal that visitor arrivals in the month of May 2012, compared to the same month last year, have increased by 9.3% to 42,820.

All regions have shown positive growth in May 2012. The arrivals from South Asian region, have gained overall positive growth of 13.9%. India which constitutes the major market of Nepal, has recorded robust growth of 16.1 % to 20,138 visitors compared to May 2011. Visitor arrivals from Sri Lanka have gained positive growth with 6% along with Bangladesh (1.1%) while arrivals from Pakistan declined by 32.5%. India, which is the largest source market for Nepal, has been increasing since the very beginning of 2010. A robust growth of 30% has been observed in the arrivals from the South Asian region during the first five months of 2012, in comparison to the same period last year.

Visitor arrivals from China, one of the fastest growing tourist markets for Nepal, have sustained the growth of 10.2% in comparison to the same period last year. Similarly, other Asian countries maintained the upward trend of previous months with Japan (26.8%), Malaysia ( 31%). However, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand were some of the major markets to register negative growths in April 2012 leading to negative growth of 2.2% in aggregate.

An overall positive growth of 8.3% has been observed from the European markets with arrivals from UK, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Russia and Czech Republic up by 9.2%, 17.9%, 11.2%, 8.5%, 5.1%, 104.1%, 24.8% and 41.2% respectively. However, the arrivals from Switzerland, Italy, Norway and Austria have declined marginally compared to the same month last year.

Tourist arrivals from Australia and USA have increased by 9% and 12.3% respectively while arrivals from New Zealand and Canada have declined compared to the same month last year.

In January-May period of 2012, international tourist arrivals to Nepal have risen by 20.5 % to 250,781.

A total of 56,363 foreign tourists departed from TIA in May 2012. The number of Nepalese arrivals stood at 52,591 while 73,359 Nepalese departed from TIA in May 2012.

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5th International Sagarmatha Day Celebrated

Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) has unveiled two new trekking trails along with route map and DVD marking 5th International Sagarmatha Day amidst a special ceremony at Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on May 29. Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Post Bahadur Bogati, secretary of MoCTCA and NTB chairperson Ganesh Raj Joshi and officiating CEO of NTB Subash Nirola jointly unveiled the new trails in Taplejung and Lower Manaslu region.

The Taplejung trek which takes 21 days from Kathmandu and 18 days from Tumlingtar of Shankuwasabha passes through Mitlung crossing Lamabsumba Pass located at an altitude of 5,177 meteres.

Likewise, the Lower Mansalu trek takes 10 days from the capital and passes through Manakamana, Khanchok, Laprak and to Gorkha Bazar. The trail has been divided as Gorkha Pilgrimage Trail trek of four days, Cultural trails trek of six days and Rupinala Pass Trekking of 14 days.

At the ceremony, Dr. Harka Gurung Award was conferred to Dr. Hem Sagar Baral and Dr. Shastra Dutta Pant for making significant contribution on the development of eco-tourism, mountain tourism and nature conservation. Similarly, mountaineer Chhuldim Sherpa was awarded Sagarmatha Pasang Lamhu Award. TAAN every year awards a woman contributing toward adventure tourism in this category.

Minister Bogati focused on the need to promote other peaks of the country along with the Everest. “We are not being able to promote our peaks because of which attraction of tourist is limited to only to a few peaks,” he said.

Minister Bogati also handed over the medal to the Everest Summiteers at the event.

Speaking at the ceremony Everest sumitter Daba Steven Sherpa suggested the government to review its policy on means of communication being used at the Everest Base Camp. At present government charges extra amount for the use of radio because of which some of the mountaineers are not using it. “Government should make its use mandatory so that help can be quickly sought whenever needed,” he requested government to come up with better policy so that there will not be traffic congestion at the peak.

MoCCTA along with different tourism related association had organized different activities to mark 5th International Sagarmatha Day. May 29 is celebrated as International Sagarmatha Day to commemorate the first ascent of the world´s highest peak by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953.

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Nepal tourism promoted in USA

Nepal Tourism Board along with Nepal's private sector tourism industry organized Nepal Tourism Road Show in major tourist generating cities of United States of America. The Nepalese delegation promoted travel to Nepal among US media, travel agents and tour operators from 17 -24 May, in Los Angeles (May 17), San Francisco (May18), Seattle (May 21), Washington DC (May 23) and New York (May 24). Nepalese private tourism companies who participated in the Road Show to capitalize on the popularity of Nepal as the premier adventure destination were Ace the Himalaya, Himaland Adventure Treks, Kathmandu Guest House, Luxury Adventure Nepal, Thamserku Trekking, Trek Nepal International and Yeti Travels.

In line with the destination brand segment of Experience of a Lifetime specially catering to USA market, NTB along with the travel trade has been focusing on the USA market with various once-in-a-lifetime adventure packages. This year, the promotional drive was specially to update US tour operators and travel media about the Great Himalaya Trail which reinvents Nepals diversity, uniqueness and cultural heritage while keeping a strong focus on sustainability and environmental tourism efforts.

With the specific aim to educate, inform and disseminate destination information, NTB representative, Ujjwala Dali, Senior Manager, Tourism Marketing & Promotion addressed the events in 5 cities, emphasizing on the changed tourism scenario of the country and the bright future of tourism growth in the country as well as highlighted the tourism attractions of Nepal, especially the adventure products including the Great Himalaya Trail. During her presentation, she also briefed the media and travel trade about the ongoing Visit Lumbini Year 2012 campaign.

In Washington DC, His Excellency, Dr. Shankar Prasad Sharma, during his welcome remarks acknowledged the US Embassy support in withdrawal of travel advisories to Nepal and reiterated Nepal Embassys commitment to promote and facilitate travel to Nepal. Similarly during the New York event, HE Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, during his welcome speech, appreciated the love and interest shown for Nepal by many US citizens and highlighted on special tourism attractions of Nepal.

During the events tour operators queried mostly about trekking and culture tours besides travel season and connectivity. They showed keen interest in the specific itineraries of Great Himalaya Trail and asked if the Government or private sectors had any special packages or incentives for travelers visiting Lumbini during Visit Lumbini Year 2012.

The year 2011 has shown substantial growth of 22.1% in the number of tourists visiting Nepal as compared to 2010. In 2011, tourist arrivals from USA increased by 14.7% compared to 2010. Nepal also has good air connectivity to US via Pacific and Atlantic through a number of airlines. In December last year, State Department of US cancelled the travel advisory against Nepal citing the vast improvement in the law and order situation in Nepal.

United States of America has always been a prime market with regards to tourist arrivals especially for Adventure tourism. Nepal delegation is hopeful that the Road show will definitely create good business opportunities and Nepal will witness further growth in the number of tourists arrivals from United States in the coming years.

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Playing on air: World’s Highest Gig for charity

These last few months have seen a slew of people making their way up the Himalayas, but one man from South London has blazed something of a unique trail, setting himself apart from regular climbers. Forty-year-old musician Oz Bayldon recently climbed 6,654 m to the top of the Mera Peak in the Sagarmatha region, where he proceeded to hold the world’s highest concert so far, raising close to US $ 55,000 for charity through the performance.

The group performed for 40 minutes at the top of 6,654-meter (21,825-foot) Mera Peak.

Group leader Oz Bayldon said Thursday he "felt like a 90-year-old with asthma" because of the altitude. And his cold fingers made it difficult to play the guitar after a few minutes.

French musician J.B. Tilon said, "It was the most beautiful landscape I have even seen."

The group raised money for a charity in Nepal that is building an orphanage. Guinness World Records is awaiting the evidence before verifying if the performance set a new record.

It was May 23 when Bayldon and his eight-member team made history atop one of the most panoramic summits in the Himalayan region, boasting stellar views of Everest, Kanchenjunga and other notable peaks. Having lugged the equipment laboriously up to the top, the band—called The Hidden and comprising of artists from different bands—performed for other trekkers, and the money collected from the tickets and donations is set to go towards sponsoring a Nepali orphanage for two years.

Music4children, the charity organisation Bayldon founded, had once before succeeded in setting a world record in 2005 for the world’s highest gig, getting artists to perform at Kalapattar, Mount Everest, in a concert aimed at raising money for children victimised by armed conflict in Nepal.

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Tamang wins Everest Marathon

Phurba Tamang completed a hat-trick in the Coca-cola 10th Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon that concluded on Tuesday as local Nepali runners were on the forefront while descending on the rough terrain from the Everest Base Camp to Namche Bazaar.

Tamang took three hours 41 minutes and 31 seconds to complete the race. Kumar Rajbhandari finished second in the marathon clocking 3 hours 54 minutes 51 seconds. Defending champion Sudip Kulung Rai finished third in 4 hours 54 seconds.

Tamang had taken lead from the base camp and continued his pace till the finishing line. Tamang informed that he had trained only for a week in Lukla. “I want to thank Tara Air for sponsoring me and also motivating me to take part in the race,” he said, adding, “I want to compete in the race next year and make a new record,” he added.

Along with the title, Tamang bagged a purse of $1000. Similarly Rajbhandari and Rai bagged $500 and $300 respectively.

Likewise, in the open female category, Ang Futi Sherpa of Nepal won the title for the fifth time, completing the race in 5 hours 14 minutes 44 seconds.

Mingma Lama finished the race in 5 hours 15 minutes 56 seconds and Tashi Jangmu Sherpa clocked 5 hours 43 minutes 23 seconds to secure the second and third positions respectively.

Winner Sherpa, who has been participating in the marathon since 2007, has finished second only once in 2008. Sherpa said she has not yet faced a tough competitor.

The first, second and third position holders bagged $500, $300 and $200 respectively.

Similarly, in male foreigner category, American James Scott won the marathon clocking 5 hours 22 minutes 7 seconds. Kelsang Dorjee of India finished second with a timing of 5 hours 38 minutes 22 seconds. Ryan Wolfarm of USA finished third clocking 5 hour 48 minutes and 7 seconds.

Likewise, Tsering Palma (6:25:33) of India, Annette Wolfrom (7:16:50) of Germany and Jeniffer Waldren (7:37:40) of the USA secured the top three positions in the female foreign category.

In the half marathon category, 29-year-old American lady Tempe Caldwell clinched the title. Anthony Hull of Australia finished second with a timing of 3:12:12 and Joseph Kurt Kowalchuk finished third.

The marathon was organized by Himalayan Expeditions to commemorate the first successful ascent of Mt Everest by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953. This day is also celebrated as the International Everest Day. A total of 93 foreigners and 62 Nepalese runners took part in this year´s race.

( News courtesy: The Republica)

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Tamang Mahotsav 2069
Date :- 31 May - 2 June 2012
Venue :- Tudikhel, Kathmandu
Organizer :- Nepal National Tamang Ghedung, Kathmandu

Sarad Pradhan     Asst. Editor: Sudhan Subedi

Media Center | Nepal Tourism Board

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