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Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board

In this Issue :

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1st Eastern Regional Tourism Fair 2068 concluded in Biratnagar
Celebrating independence atop Everest
Nepalese Embassy participated a fair in Bangkok
Mount Everest Expedition 2012 on ECCR Concept
Tanzanian mountain porter set to conquer Mount Everest
Nepal village adopts homey ways to boost tourism
Mid-Nepal Tourism Development Committee Formed to Develop the Regional Tourism

1st Eastern Regional Tourism Fair 2068 concluded in Biratnagar

A three day - first Eastern Regional Tourism Fair 2012 (1st ERTF) concluded on March 24 in Biratnagar. About forty thousand visitors observed the fair. Altogether 14 districts of eastern region of Nepal were represented in the fair. 30 tourism related associations, companies, committees and trusts showcased destinations, activities, local handicrafts and tour packages in respective stalls.

Earlier, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Lokendra Bist Magar inaugurated the three-day regional tourism fair amidst a special function organized at the Birendra Convention Hall, Biratnagar. Mr. Magar said the government has adopted the long term plan for the development of tourism. He added the Tourism Vision 2020 guides Nepal for more investment in tourism sector.

The tourism mart has aimed to identify and promote the tourism destinations in the eastern region, create tourism awareness among the general public and link tourism to livelihoods of the general public. It provided a platform for publicizing the tour packages developed for the domestic tourists for various destinations of the eastern region.

The demonstration of handicrafts, cultural dances, documentary show depicting various tourism destinations, among others, was the main attractions of the fair. The fair is an initiative taken to highlight the various tourism destinations of eastern Nepal. Visitors to the fair expressed deep interest on Home Stay and travel packages developed by tourism associations. Antu Home Stay, Nagarkot, Dharan & Lumbini packages were some major attractions for the domestic tourists.

A 10 kilometer Male Marathon and 5 kilometer Female Marathon was organized on the first day of Fair. Mr. Umesh Kandangwa from Terhthum and Ms. Juni Rai from Jhapa bagged the first prize of male and female Marathon respectively.

A one day workshop on “Tourism Product Packaging & Sustainable Tourism Network” to the tourism entrepreneurs was organized on the second day of Fair. Ms. Sita Pokharel, STN Core Group Member gave her presentation on Sustainable Tourism Network and Mr. Udaya Bhattarai, Asst. Manager; NTB gave his presentation on Tourism Product Packaging. Mr. Lila Bahadur Baniya, Manager, NTB and Coordinator of 1st ERTF moderated the workshop participated 40 representatives of regional stakeholder organizations.

Subash Nirola, Officiating CEO, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), said that the Board has been working on a plan to develop tourism in the eastern region as per the concept of 17 Tourism Hubs introduced by the government. He said such fair helps to promote hidden tourism destinations and helps to develop the tourism entrepreneurship in the region.

“To promote the tourism in the Birat Region, we are planning to open a tourism information center, declaring the eastern development region as an organic production region and develop regional air route to make the eastern mountains accessible,” said Bhabish Shrestha, President of the Birat Region Tourism Development Committee.

During the closing ceremony, it was announced that the 5th National Tourism Fair will be organized from Baisakh 15 to 17, 2069 (27 to 29 April, 2012) in Kathmandu. The prize of Marathon and awards was also distributed in the closing ceremony. Hotel Association Dharan & Dharan Association of Travel Agents jointly won the Best Stall Award.

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Celebrating independence a top Everest

The Nepal Tourism Board hosted a press meet for Bangladeshi social activist-turned mountaineer Wasfia Nazreen on Sunday to announce the beginning of her Everest Expedition which coincides with the 41st anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence on March 26.

Nazreen’s Bangladesh on Seven Summits campaign—under which she aims to climb the tallest summits in each of the seven continents—has brought her to Nepal exactly a year after its inception. Before this, she has reached the summits of Kilimanjaro in Africa and Aconcagua in South America.

The press meet saw several Bangladeshis who are supporting Nazreen’s campaign. Akku Chowdhury, Bangladeshi freedom fighter and Trustee at the Liberation War Museum of Bangladesh, talked of the “incredible bravery” with which Nazreen was beginning her Everest expedition, likening her to the women freedom fighters of the Liberation War. “Wasfia is showing the way that women are not only good, but better than us men,” he proclaimed.

Among other climbers present at the meet was Shailee Basnet, the first female Nepali journalist to scale Everest and coordinator of the Everest Women 7 Summits Eco-Action, who said she was proud to see Nazreen finally attempting this very special mission. “When a person climbs Everest,” she spoke before presenting Nazreen with the flag of Nepal, “it is never about the individual…it is much more than that.”

Upon successful completion of the expedition, Nazreen will be the first Bangladeshi woman to have climbed Everest.

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Nepalese Embassy participated a fair in Bangkok

Embassy of Nepal in Bangkok, Thailand participated the Bangkok Sister Cities Week 2012 on the occasion of Urban Rehabilitation and Renew organized by Bangkok Metropolis from February 9 to 11, 2012. It was inaugurated by the Governor of Bangkok. During the fair, Nepalese Embassy distributed various promotional materials produced by Nepal Tourism Board including posters of Lumbini and Himalayas. It also displayed the promotional video provided by Nepal Tourism Board.

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Mount Everest Expedition 2012 on ECCR Concept

HIMALAYA Expeditions, one of Nepals oldest Mountaineering and Trekking Expedition Agency Services, has launched a revolutionary eco concept for the first time in the world which is called ECCR (Everest Climb, Clean & Run) during the World's Highest Marathon on 29th May 2012.

Its mission is to present Nepal as the hottest and most happening destination in the world that is incomparable for adventure seekers and holidaymakers.

The ECCR concept will be put into action during this Spring Season of 2012 at Mount Everest by the Indian Expedition Team which is being led by Bhupesh Hada, a veteran mountaineer from India.

Team Leader Hada is leading a 19-member Indian expedition to climb Everest and Lhotse in this Spring Season. The team will climb both the mountains and each member will carry their individual waste and bring it back down from the mountain. This noble action will herald the launch of ECCR concept to help establish it as a standard practice during all the future expeditions organized by Himalaya Expeditions. The message is: KEEP YOUR MOUNTAIN CLEAN, BY CLEANING UP YOUR OWN WASTE!

The ECCR culture seeks to ensure that every climber who climbs Mt Everest will display proper respect and dignity to the highest mountain on earth and give such act the highest priority. To honor this holy and spiritual feeling towards the mountain, the mountain of destiny for all mankind, we have adopted the ECCR code of conduct during all our Everest expeditions to bring back garbage according to individual capacity of climbers.

The garbage brought down from down the mountain will be carried to Namche Bazaar and handed over to SPCC.

The unique feature of ECCR was solely conceptualized by Mr. Bikram Pandey, a long time tourism professional and a Nepalese Tourism veteran in the industry.

It is believed that the following code of conduct is being practiced by mountaineers as a new mountaineering culture.

01. Voluntary adoption of the ECCR code of conduct by all Everest climbers

02. To make ECCR a standard practice while climbing mountains

03. To inculcate ECCR values within all climbers and let them know that following the ECCR code of conduct is an integral part of their duty towards the mountains to show respect and dignity to the summit they are climbing.

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Tanzanian mountain porter set to conquer Mount Everest

An experienced porter who has been climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for decades is set to become the first Tanzanian to conquer the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest in mid-May this year.

The Mount Kilimanjaro porter, Mr. Wilfred Moshi, left Tanzania this week for Nepal to face the challenges counted to be his lifetime memory.

Unable to raise funds for his memorable trip to Nepal, the porter got financial support from the United Kingdom, United States, Middle East, and New Zealand where a number of mountain climbing enthusiasts contributed US$100,000 to sponsor his trip. The money, which has been contributed for his trip, has been forwarded to Adventure Consultants of New Zealand, which is coordinating the venture.

He said the whole exercise to trek Mount Everest is expected to take ten weeks, and if his mission becomes a success, he will be the first Tanzanian to reach the highest peak in the world.

More sources from Northern Tanzania said the Mount Kilimanjaro Marathon’s 50 kilometer “Ultra-marathon” has been organized for June this year, in part to mark Tanzania’s 50 years of independence from Britain.

Mount Kilimanjaro Marathon also features a full marathon at 42 kilometers, half marathon at 21 kilometers, 10 kilometers, and 5 kilometers where participants of all experiences circle the foothills of the mountain passing through some of Tanzania’s most beautiful landscapes.

Tanzania Tourist Board’s Managing Director Dr. Aloyce Nzuki said the increasing popularity of the annual Mount Kilimanjaro Marathon would help Tanzania to raise its profile as an international sports tourism destination, where people of different cultures come together in a supporting and a welcoming atmosphere.

Mount Kilimanjaro Race Director and the organizer of the June 24 Mount Kilimanjaro Marathon. Marie Frances. said more and more American runners are looking for the ultimate challenge, and the Mount Kilimanjaro Marathon provides the perfect environment.

“In order to encourage more people to experience the thrill even if they are not the fastest runners, we have created shorter races to enable people to run in a marathon at their own pace. There are also travel packages so that the runners and their families and friends can also explore this beautiful country following the Marathon,” she noted.

All-inclusive travel packages start at US$4,695, which includes round-trip air, accommodations, meals, transfers, marathon fees, and also a Mount Kilimanjaro climb.

(News Courtesy: E-Turbow News)

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Nepal village adopts homey ways to boost tourism

Gam Bahadur Gurung sits cross-legged on the clean, hard-packed mud floor at the family kitchen sipping rice beer.

His wife Tek Kumari, who sits across from him at the fireplace, prepares a meal of lentils, goat meat and rice as her husband offers vodka-like home-brewed rakshi to the guests, who lie on straw mats stretching out their legs.

This has become a typical scene in Ghalegaun, about 100 km (60 miles) west of the Nepali capital of Kathmandu, which is now known as "the homestay village" for its part as the model for a scheme designed to lure tourists, many of whom were scared away during a decade-long conflict which ended in 2006.

"'Come as guests, go as friends' is our motto," said Gurung, 50, who lives in the stone hut that has been set up with rooms with clean beds and toilets to accommodate visitors in this hill-top village overlooking some of the world's tallest peaks.

"We live like a family sitting and eating together with the guests. We discuss even personal matters and crack jokes with them as friends," he said.

Ghalegaun, a village of 400, sits amid carved terraces growing potatoes, onion, garlic, millet, rice and corn. It is overshadowed to the north by Mount Manaslu, the world's eighth highest peak at 8,163 metres (26,781 feet).

The village, which itself is located 2,070 metres (6,790 feet) above sea level, is renowned for the culture and hospitality of the Gurung, a community that came from Tibet several centuries ago and is known as one supplier of the famed Gurkha soldiers for the British and Indian armies.

Tourists stay and eat with the locals in their homes, whose doorways are so low that anybody entering has to stoop. The prices for food and lodging are determined collectively by the villagers - a system now copied by dozens of other villages across Nepal, though Ghalegaun is the most popular.

Guests are allotted to families in a way that ensures everyone benefits. Each household earns about $150 a month, a substantial income in a country where one fourth of its 26.6 million people live on a daily income of less than a dollar.

"This is a unique opportunity to stay with locals, eat locally grown food in their kitchen and even cook meals yourself," said Shailendra Kumar Shah, who came with his family from Nuwakot near Kathmandu.

"These things are not available everywhere."

The majority of tourists are Nepali, increasingly attracted to the chance of spending time in quiet villages but were reluctant to venture away from safe places such as Kathmandu during the years of conflict.

Authorities said the government hopes other villages will be able to copy Ghalegaun and share the benefits of tourism.

"We plan to prepare guidelines setting the minimum standard families must maintain in terms of beds, cleanliness, bathrooms and kitchens for the tourists coming to stay in their homes," said Mohan Krishna Sapkota, a senior Tourism Ministry official.

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Ghalegaun, a village with narrow paved lanes snaking between stone walls lined by tin roofed houses, is reached after four hours of nerve-wracking driving on a dusty road carved through craggy mountains from the nearest town of Besishahar.

It sits on the fringes of Nepal's biggest conservation site - the Annapurna Conservation Area Project ACAP.L, which seeks to promote environment-friendly tourism in the area.

Project authorities support the villagers in vegetable and tea growing and construction of village trails and bridges to win their support for plans aimed at conserving rare local animals such as the snow leopard, leopard cat and musk deer.

Other attractions include the local culture. Ghalegaun was the capital of the Ghale Kings who ruled centuries ago, and at night visitors join locals in playing drums and taking part in traditional dancing in lively cultural evenings.

The return of tourists is a welcome sight in these parts of Nepal, home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains including Mount Everest, which emerged from a decade-long civil war in 2006 - a conflict which caused more than 16,000 deaths and scared away tourists, who contribute four percent to its gross domestic product each year.

Aid-dependent Nepal earned $330 million in 2010, the most recently available data, from nearly 600,000 foreign visitors, who dominate tourism nationwide. There is no data on how much is made from domestic tourism.

In Ghalegaun, domestic visitors - reluctant to take on the trekking that foreigners enjoy - dominate. More than 11,000 visitors came to the village in 2011, only 400 of them foreign.

Visitors for their part are advised to respect the local ecology and customs.

"Don't wear revealing clothes and avoid the outward display of physical affection," a notice at the village entrance says. "Save caresses for private moments."

Some villagers, though, say those same local customs include the ugly reality of a caste system where the so-called dalits, or untouchables, remain in an inferior position even though this has been officially banned in the majority Hindu nation.

Of 115 village households, 50 are those of dalits, who do not host visitors and must endure treatment by other villagers that includes having teacups they have used purified by fire.

"This is a tradition we cannot wish away," said 45-year-old Sukman Bishwakarma, a dalit. "What can we do?"

( News courtesy: Reuters)

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Mid-Nepal Tourism Development Committee Formed to Develop the Regional Tourism

An interaction program and the first meeting of the newly formed 'Mid-Nepal Tourism Development Committee' was organized at the hill station of Nepal - Daman, Makwanpur.

The committee was formed in February 2012 by the community leaders and the tourism professionals, people from the private sector during the time of the Patihani Mahotsav in Chitwan under the presence of the major leaders of the three political parties – Mr. Puspa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' – former Prime Minister, Mr. Bharat Mohan Adhikary – Former Deputy Prime Minister and Mr. Ram Sharan Mahat – Former Minister, with the aim to develop tourism of the Chitwan and its surrounding six other districts - Nawalparasi, Tanahu, Gorkha, Lamjung, Dhading and Makawanpur in an integrated way. The program was hosted by DDC Makwanpur.

The 15 member committee, having at least one official from the District Development Committee of the respective districts and Local Development Officer of each districts and an official from Nepal Tourism Board will focus on the following issue at the initial stage.

To identify the new tourism destination within each districts

To make joint promotional materials.

To formulation of integrated tourism master plan of seven districts.

To promote public-private partnerships to achieve the tourism objectives in each / all districts

The first meeting of the said committee at Daman was attended by the all the committee members and the Local Development Officers of Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Gorkha, Lamjung, Dhading and Makawanpur. The District Tourism Development Committee of all seven districts and the District Development Committee has agreed to support the 'Mid-Nepal Tourism Development Committee' a token amount of Rs 50,000 each respectively. The committee will work on developing the package combining all seven districts and will showcase them at the National Tourism Fair scheduled on 27 – 29 April 2012 at Kathmandu and also will put a joint stall for seven districts.

The LDOs of six districts have committed their support in developing the region and have mentioned that such forum will surely be helping in the development of the regional tourism of Nepal. Mr. Mani Raj Lamichhane, Manager of Nepal Tourism Board mentioned his support to the Committee and said that NTB will always be there to support them to achieve their objective. Moreover, it will be happy to work hand in hand closely with the committee so that the people residing in these regions could get the benefits of the tourism. It was also mentioned that NTB will also support them in designing and the publication of the product brochure in the initial phase.

Gorkha DDC will be hosting the next meeting at Barpak Village of Gorkha.

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Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation delivering the speech during the Eastern Region Tourism Fair-2068.

Upcoming Events

Chaite Dashain
Date :- Mar 31, 2012

Ram Nawami
Date :- Mar 31, 2012

New Year’s Day
Date :- Apr 13, 2012


Photo Feature

Glimpses of Eastern Region Tourism Fair-2012







Editor: Sarad Pradhan
Asst. Editor: Sudhan Subedi
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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.