Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board
(Printable version)
February 01, 2013
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NTB welcomed new Chairman, unveiled Facebook page
Sushil Ghimire appointed as New Secretary at MoCTCA
Art festival at Siddhartha-Art Gallery
Stones from Mt Everest sent to lowest point on earth in Israel
International tourism to continue robust growth in 2013
Asia and the Pacific and the Americas the most 'open' regions for travellers in terms of Visas

NTB welcomed new Chairman, unveiled Facebook page

Nepal Tourism Board organized a program to welcome the newly appointed Secretary of Ministry of Culture,Tourism and Civil Aviation(MoCTCA) and Chairman of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB)  Mr. Sushil Ghimire and to bid farewell of the outgoing Chairman of Nepal Tourism Board Mr. Yajna Prasad Gautam and to unveil the Facebook page of NTB and Brochures in DVD on January 27, 2013.

Welcoming the guests, Officiating CEO of Nepal Tourism Board Mr. Subash Nirola said that it was necessary to have coordination among private sector, MoCTCA and NTB for promoting Nepal effectively. He also spoke about the challenges faced by NTB in developing and promoting tourism. Mr. Sushil Ghimire, Secretary of  Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) and Chairman of Nepal Tourism Board(NTB), addressing the function recalled his long association with tourism and said that the promotional and working approach should be changed to accommodate new ideas.Outgoing Chairman of Nepal Tourism Board  Mr. Yajna Prasad Gautam who is now posted at the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers as Secretary expressed his hope that his successor would follow his footstep in bringing in new planes for Nepal Airlines. Mr. Aditya Baral, Director of NTB raised the question of appointing new CEO at NTB and filling up the vacancies for running NTB efficiently and effectively. Mr. Pradeep Basnet, Chairman of NTB Union also pointed out the problem faced by the employees of Nepal Tourism Board.

Mr. Sushil Ghimire, Secretary of  Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation(MoCTCA) and  Chairman of Nepal Tourism Board(NTB) also unveiled the Facebook page of Nepal Tourism Board and Brochures in DVD.

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Sushil Ghimire appointed as New Secretary at MoCTCA

The Government of Nepal has appointed Mr.Sushil Ghimire as Secretary for the Ministry of Culture,Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) on January 11, 2013.Earlier,he was the Secretary in Land Reform and Management Ministry.Graduated in 1985 from Tribhuwan University (T. U.) Nepal,he got Masters degree in Science.Besides this,he has also completed bachelors degree in Economics and Law.He also attended Seoul National University for the Ph.D.in ITPP (Information Technology Policy Programme) program in 2007.

He attended many training programs in various field including Regulatory and Privatization issues in Telecommunications in 2003 in United States Telecommunication Training Institute, Washington DC, USA,Diploma course on Personnel Administration from Royal Institute of Personnel Administration, London and participated many conferences, seminars and workshops organized by ITU, APT and other international organizations.He also attended Symposium on Access and Universal Service obligation organized by Asia pacific Tele-community at Hanoi, Vietnam on October 12-18, 2003,First Meeting of the SAARC Media Development Expert Group, Organized by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,Government of India,at New Delhi, on March 21-22, 2005,Meeting of Working Group on Internet Governance, and the 2nd Preparatory meeting of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) of Tunis -2005, Organized by ITU  on February 14-25, 2005 in Geneva, Switzerland and Consultation meeting with the international Cross Country Adoption Agencies and Monitoring and observation visit in USA on 23 to 31 December 2006 in Brazil.

He also held the post of Secretary in Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry  of Local Development and Ministry of Information and Communication. He also worked as the Chairman of Board of Director of Nepal Telecom, Chairperson of Radio Nepal, Gorakhapatra Corporation and National News Agency. In his working experience of 29 years in public service, he has been mostly involved in media and communication.

Furthermore, he has also the experience of working with United Nations as a Civil Affairs Officer in East Timor from1999 to 2001.

Besides English and Nepal, he also speaks Hindi, Urdu and Bhasa Indonesia.

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Art festival at Siddhartha-Art Gallery

The Kathmandu International Art Festival has opened at the Siddhartha Art Gallery here on Wednesday, state-owned news agency RSS reported.

The art festival titled 'Earth, Body and Mind' has been organised with the objective of promoting Nepali art within the country and abroad.

The art works of 21 Nepali artists have been put on display. The festival features installation art, videography, sculpture and paintings. The art festival will conclude on February 24.
The art festival has been organised by the Siddhartha Arts Foundation.Nepalnews.com

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Stones from Mt Everest sent to lowest point on earth in Israel

Stones from the region of the highest point on Earth, the Mount Everest of Nepal, were sent to Israel on Monday. Similar stones from the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea in Israel, are expected to arrive in Nepal in a sooner date.

These stones will be established as monuments at the Dead Sea and at the Everest Base Camp respectively and will symbolize long and fruitful friendship between Nepal and Israel, according to a press release issued by the Embassy of Israel in Kathmandu.

“The placing of the monuments is expected to further strengthen existing good and friendly relations between the two countries and bring it to the people to people level. It will also promote these natural heritage sites apart from encouraging more people to visit the regions and to promote internal as well as international tourism,” the Israeli Embassy said in the release.

The stones from the Everest Base Camp were brought to Kathmandu by Bishnu Basnet, the guide from the Swissa Rafting and Trekking Expedition (P) Ltd.

A special ceremony for placing of the monuments will take place in both the countries later in 2013, according to the Embassy.

This project is the follow up project of the Nepal Israel joint postage stamps issued on 4 September 2012. nepalnews.com

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International tourism to continue robust growth in 2013

International tourist arrivals grew by 4% in 2012 to reach 1.035 billion, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Emerging economies (+4.1%) regained the lead over advanced economies (+3.6%), with Asia and the Pacific showing the strongest results. Growth is expected to continue in 2013 only slightly below the 2012 level (+3% to +4%) and in line with UNWTO long term forecast.

With an additional 39 million international tourists, up from 996 million in 2011, international tourist arrivals surpassed 1 billion (1.035 billion) for the first time in history in 2012. Demand held well throughout the year, with a stronger than expected fourth quarter.

By region, Asia and the Pacific (+7%) was the best performer, while by sub-region South-East Asia, North Africa (both at +9%) and Central and Eastern Europe (+8%) topped the ranking.

“2012 saw continued economic volatility around the globe, particularly in the Eurozone. Yet international tourism managed to stay on course” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “The sector has shown its capacity to adjust to the changing market conditions and, although at a slightly more modest rate, is expected to continue expanding in 2013. Tourism is thus one of the pillars that should be supported by governments around the world as part of the solution to stimulating economic growth,” he added.

UNWTO forecasts international tourist arrivals to increase by 3% to 4% in 2013, much in line with its long term forecast for 2030: +3.8% a year on average between 2010 and 2020. This outlook is confirmed by the UNWTO Confidence Index. Compiled among over 300 experts worldwide, the Index shows that prospects for 2013 are similar to the evaluation of last year (124 points for 2013 against 122 for 2012).

By region, prospects for 2013 are stronger for Asia and the Pacific (+5% to +6%), followed by Africa (+4% to +6%), the Americas (+3% to +4%), Europe (+2% to +3%) and the Middle East (0% to +5%).

Emerging economies regain the lead

In 2012, growth was stronger in emerging economies (+4.1%) as compared to advanced economies (+3.6%), a trend which has marked the sector for many years now.

International tourist arrivals to Europe, the most visited region in the world, were up by 3%; a very positive result in view of the economic situation, and following a strong 2011 (+6%). Total arrivals reached 535 million, 17 million more than in 2011. By sub-region, Central and Eastern Europe destinations (+8%) experienced the best results, followed by Western Europe (+3%). Destinations in Southern Mediterranean Europe (+2%) consolidated their excellent performance of 2011 and returned in 2012 to their normal growth rates.

Asia and the Pacific (+7%) was up by 15 million arrivals in 2012, reaching a total 233 million international tourists. South-East Asia (+9%) was the best performing sub-region much due to the implementation of policies that foster intraregional cooperation and coordination in tourism. Growth was also strong in North-East Asia (+6%), as Japanese inbound and outbound tourism recovered, while it was comparatively weaker in South Asia (+4%) and in Oceania (+4%).

The Americas
(+4%) saw an increase of 6 million arrivals, reaching 162 million in total. Leading the growth were destinations in Central America (+6%), while South America, up by 4%, showed some slowdown as compared to the double-digit growth of 2010 and 2011. The Caribbean (+4%), on the other hand, is performing above the previous two years, while North America (+3%) consolidated its 2011 growth.

Africa (+6%) recovered well from its setback in 2011 when arrivals declined by 1% due largely to the negative results of North Africa. Arrivals reached a new record (52 million) due to the rebound in North Africa (+9% as compared to a 9% decline in 2011) and to the continued growth of Sub-Saharan destinations (+5%). Results in the Middle East(-5%) improved after a 7% decline in 2011, yet the region recorded an estimated 3 million international tourist arrivals less in 2012 in spite of the clear recovery in Egypt.

Receipts confirm positive trend in arrivals

Available data on international tourism receipts and expenditure for 2012 covering at least the first nine months of the year confirm the positive trend in arrivals.

Among the top ten tourist destinations, receipts were up significantly in Hong Kong (China) (+16%), the USA (+10%), the UK (+6%) and Germany (+5%). At the same time, a significant number of destinations around the world saw receipts from international tourism increase by 15% or more – Japan (+37%), India and South Africa (both +22%), Sweden and the Republic of Korea (both +19%), Thailand (+18%) and Poland (+16%).


Traditional source markets show renewed dynamism

Although the highest growth rates in expenditure abroad among the ten top markets came from emerging economies – China (+42%) and Russia (+31%) – important traditional source markets, showed particularly good results. In Europe, and despite economic pressures, expenditure on international tourism by Germany held well at +3%, while the UK (+5%) returned to growth after two flat years. In the Americas, both the USA and Canada grew at 7%. On the other hand, France (-7%) and Italy (-2%) registered declines in travel expenditure.

Smaller markets with significant growth were Venezuela (+31%), Poland (+19%), Philippines (+17%), Malaysia (+15%), Saudi Arabia (+14%), Belgium (+13%), Norway and Argentina (both +12%), Switzerland and Indonesia (both +10%).

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Asia and the Pacific and the Americas the most 'open' regions for travellers in terms of Visas

New UNWTO research on Visa facilitation shows that Asia and the Pacific and the Americas are the most ‘open’ regions in terms of tourist Visa requirements. Data also shows that there has been significant progress on Visa facilitation globally in recent years, particularly with the implementation of Visa on arrival policies.

Based on a global evaluation of Visa requirements, including the implementation of policies that allow for Visa on arrival and eVisas, UNWTO findings show that in 2012 Asia and the Americas were the most ‘open’ regions for the entry of tourists. An average 20% of the world’s population were not required a Visa to visit an Asian destination, while 19% could obtain a Visa on arrival and 7% an eVisa – 31%, 8% and 1% respectively in the case of the Americas. European destinations were the ‘least open’ when comparing the three components of a Visa policy (no Visa; Visa on arrival and eVisas). Although 21% of the world population was not required a Visa to enter Europe for tourism, only 6% were able to apply for a Visa on arrival and no eVisa system was in place.

“An overall restrictive Visa policy means lost opportunities for economic growth and jobs, which tourism could bring to destinations. Travellers regard Visas as a formality which entails a cost. This can be a deterrent to travel if costs - whether monetary or indirect - including distance, wait times and service, exceed a certain threshold” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

On a global level, in 2012, only 18% of the world’s population were not required a Visa at all when travelling for tourism. Destinations around the world requested on average from 63% of the world’s population that they obtain a traditional Visa before initiating their international journey. Another 16% was be able to apply for a Visa on arrival, while only 2% of the population was allowed to apply for an eVisa.

This new UNWTO research also shows considerable progress towards Visa facilitation over recent years: the requirement of a traditional tourism Visa went from 77% to 63% of the world’s population between 2008 and 2012, with significant changes over the last two years.

It was also noted that destinations tend to thoroughly review and introduce changes when reviewing their Visa policies. Since 2010, 43 destinations clearly facilitated the Visa process for citizens of at least 20 countries by changing their Visa policies from ‘Visa required’ to either ‘no Visa required’, ‘Visa on arrival’ or eVisa’, directly impacting on 5,080 destination-source market relations.

“Important strides have been made in recent times in terms of Visa facilitation as more and more countries understand its implicit economic benefits. We welcome moves by the USA, the European Union and many other countries which have implemented or are looking into implementing more open Visa policies. But we cannot ignore that Visa procedures still represent an obstacle to tourism growth and we hope that these good examples can be followed by others,” Mr. Rifai added.

Improving Visa processes could generate an extra US$ 206 billion in tourism receipts and create as many as 5.1 million additional jobs by 2015 in the G20 economies alone, according to the joint research by UNWTO and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). As a result of this work, the G20 Leaders at their last Summit (June 2012, Los Cabos, Mexico) recognized tourism as “a vehicle for job creation, economic growth and development” and committed to “work towards developing travel facilitation initiatives in support of job creation, quality work, poverty reduction and global growth.”

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Sarad Pradhan     Asst. Editor: Sudhan Subedi

Media Center | Nepal Tourism Board

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