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Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board

In this Issue :

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Nepal participate FITUR 2013
Midas CAN Info-Tech begins
Tourist Arrivals decline for the first time in last 3 and half years
Asians' fervour for travel not dampened by economic uncertainty
TAAN promotes adventure tourism in US
Health Tourism explored

Nepal participate FITUR 2013

Nepal Tourism Board in co-ordination with Nepal Association of Tour & Travel Agents ( NATTA)  organized Nepals participation in travel and tourism fair, FITUR 2013 from  January 30 February 3rd 2013 in Madrid, Spain.

With a contingent of 16 co-exhibiting travel trade companies of Nepal, Nepals participation in the tourism fair was successful to reposition the image of Nepal as a safe, premier and value for money destination among the Spanish tour operators and travelers.  Spanish tour operators were keen on new tourism products of Nepal in addition to existing well known tourism  destinations,  and  prospective Spanish travelers made queries on main tourism products and prices in Nepal. Nepals stand in a prime vantage location in the exhibition hall and displaying all the nature, culture and adventure based thematic attractions was able to attract the footfalls of nearly about  90,000 visitors in the five day fair.

Nepalese travel trade companies participating in the exhibition revamped their old business ties and established new business relationship with the Spanish travel trade companies.

Spanish travel market is one of the major travel markets in Europe for Nepalese tourism industry with a figure of 11,521 tourist arrivals by air in 2012.

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Midas CAN Info-Tech begins

The largest ICT fair in the country kicked off at the Bhrikuti Mandap Exhibition Hall on Wednesday.

Keshab Prasad Bhattarai, secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, inaugurated Midas CAN Info-Tech 2013 amid a function held at City Hall.

Computer Association of Nepal (CAN) has been organizing the event for the past 18 years with the objective of raising awareness on ICT and providing platform for entrepreneurs to showcase latest innovations in the ICT industry.

Inaugurating the event, Bhattarai said government was formulating ICT strategies to facilitate private as well as the public sector. “Several manual jobs are yet to be replaced by IT in public institutions,” he said, adding that the ministry was committed toward establishing IT unit in each ministry. He further said Nepal holds a huge potential in the ICT sector especially in software development. “Brain-drain is a big problem in this sector, but we are hopeful that we can stop it by creating a proper environment,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, CAN President Binod Dhakal requested the government to come up with effective policy to support ICT sector. He also stressed the need for better coordination between the government and the private sector for the development of ICT sector.

Similarly, Chhatra Hari Karki, managing director of Midas Technologies - the title sponsor of the event, said growing education divide in the country can be bridged by the effective use of technology.

Likewise, Pradeep Jung Pandey, vice president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), said the ICT sector holds great export potentials. “In many countries, IT industry has proved to be a major contributing sector for economic growth,” Pandey said: “Unfortunately, we have not been able to identify IT as an industry. He said tax exemption and special facilities for IT firms could help boost the sector.

The Info-Tech features 220 stalls including 40 branding pavilions. CAN is also organizing 13th ICT Conference on the sidelines of the event. The conference will be held on Friday and Saturday on the theme ´Promoting e-Democracy in Nepal´.
On the first day of the event, stalls of companies dealing on power solutions, Internet packages and laptops managed to see huge footfall.

According to CAN, about 50,000 people visited the event on Wednesday. The association is expecting total footfall of 500,000. ( Courtesy: The Republica)

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Tourist Arrivals decline for the first time in last 3 and half years

The figures released by Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) reveal that the tourist arrivals reached 35,330 with 15.9% of decline in January this year compared to the same month last year.
Major source markets have recorded negative growths in tourist arrivals in the first month of 2013. In the SAARC region only Pakistan has recorded positive growth of 5.8%. India which constitutes the major market of Nepal, has recorded negative growth of 26.1%. Arrivals from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have also registered negative growth by 62.6% and 42.6% respectively.
Arrivals from Asia (other than South Asia) have also recorded negative growth of 16.4% in aggregate with mixed results. The visitor's arrivals from China have decreased by 40.3%. However, the arrivals from Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea have also increased by 16.8%, 10.3%, 4.3%, 42.6% and 11.2% respectively.
An overall negative growth of 15 % has been observed from the European markets with arrivals from major generating markets such as Germany, France and the Netherlands down by 12.2%, 38.2%, and 29% respectively.However, the arrivals from the UK has increased by 6.6% compared to the same month last year.
Tourist arrivals from Australia, New Zealand and USA have registered growths of 27.3%, 25%,and 13% respectively.A negative growth of 27.4% has been recorded from Canada in January 2013 compared to January 2012.

A total of 45,667 foreign tourists departed from TIA in January 2013. The number of Nepalese arrivals stood at 69,442 while 91281 Nepalese departed from TIA in January 2013.

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Asians' fervour for travel not dampened by economic uncertainty

The appetite of Asians for leisure travel remains strong despite expected global downtrend, and mainland Chinese will lead the region in travel frequency fuelled by a strong renminbi, reveals Travelzoo Asia Pacific in its annual regional subscriber survey.

The survey on trends, which will shape this year’s leisure travel, forecasted average travel frequency in the region to increase to 4.5 from 3.6 of last year. Regional spending will also see a similar growth of around 23% over that of last year.

Findings on regional markets:

Australia: Australian travellers will be the biggest spenders in 2013 - average spend US$8,867 compared to last year's US$6,877 and travelling 3.8 times from 2.8 times in 2012.

China: Mainland Chinese subscribers will travel the most this year, making an average of 6.9 leisure trips from 4.2 in 2012 that includes getaways and long-haul holidays. Second biggest spenders after the Australians, 20% more than last year amounting to US$7,117 on average. Mainland Chinese subscribers love Australia as it remains their favourite destination. Maldives and Thailand are becoming increasingly popular at second and third spot respectively. A stronger renminbi, rising inflation within China and the allure of exotic foreign travel are reasons for the choice of foreign destinations over domestic travel.  However, the desire to holiday in Japan fell drastically due to the prevailing tensions between the two countries.

Hong Kong: Travellers from Hong Kong will spend 22% more, but travel slightly less in 2013. Average spend of US$5,909, reduction in average trip to 4.2 from last year's 5. Inflation and stronger overseas currency may be key reasons for the slight drop in travel.

Japan: The Japanese' desire to travel continues to remain strong with average of 4.7 trips compared to 3.4 last year.  The weaker Japanese yen and the resurgence of inbound travel after the tsunami, with less discounted deals for local travellers, will see spending remain flat at US$4,342 this year. 

Taiwan: Taiwanese travellers, like their Australian and mainland Chinese counterparts, will travel and spend more – at 3 times and US$4,050 respectively.

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TAAN promotes adventure tourism in US

A delegation of tourism entrepreneurs led by Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) participated in the Travel & Adventure Show 2013 held in Los Angeles, USA in the second week of January.

Mohan Lamsal, general secretary of TAAN who led the delegation, said Nepal’s participation in the fair was a resounding success. “The fair drew around 30,000 visitors and most of the Nepali companies participating in the fair saw good footfall,” Lamsal said, adding: “Nepali companies had a good B2B session with US buyers.”

Lamsal also said participating Nepali companies were satisfied with the fair. “The fair received good coverage in leading adventure magazines. Local media also gave massive coverage to the event,” he added.

TAAN promoted Nepal’s adventure tourism and new trekking destinations. “We also distributed ‘TAAN Member Directory’ which contains contact information of all our member agents,” said Lamsal.

Representatives of Good Karma Trekking, White Himalayan Adventure Treks, Mountain Guide Trek & Expedition, Keep Walking Nepal Treks & Expedition, Makalu Adventure, Rainbow Trek & Expedition, Bochi Bochi Trek, Trekking Camp Nepal, and Himalayan Sherpa Adventure participated in the expedition.

TAAN had participated Travel & Adventure Show in 2012 as well.

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Health Tourism explored

Chaitanya -A Wellness Healing Spa in coordination with Nepal Tourism Board organised a seminar on February 7, 2013 in Kathmandu to explore the avenues of health tourism in Nepal. Mr. Sudharsan Basnet, the chairman of Chaitanya  made a presentation on Scope of Health Tourism. Commenting on the presentation, Mr. Dipendra Purus Dhakal, former Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and  Mr. Prachanda Man Shrestha, former CEO of Nepal Tourism Board  stressed on to explore  the scope of  health tourism together with standardization of the service.

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Photo of the week
Rato Machindranath chariot crossing the Nakhhu river in Patan

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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.