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Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board

In this Issue :

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Nepal-India Tourism Mart 2013 concluded
Nepal 'Once is not Enough' for The Dutch
Nepal promoted in South Indian Hub, Bangalore
Lumbini Marathon organized for peace
Japanese Film Fest in Kathmandu

Nepal-India Tourism Mart 2013 concluded

Nepal-India Tourism Mart 2013  concluded on January 16, 2013. The Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Posta Bahadur Bogati and Ambassador of India to Nepal HE Mr. Jayant Prasad jointly inaugurated the First ever  Nepal-India two day Tourism Mart 2013 in Lumbini on January 15, 2013. Organized by the Indian Embassy, Kathmandu in association with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (Government of Nepal) and Nepal Tourism Board, the Mart was being participated by Government Officials and travel trade of the two countries.

 Inaugurating the function, Minister Bogati said that it is now imperative to promote other Buddhist destinations within the country for uplifting the livelihood of common people across the country.  Indian Ambassador HE Mr. Prasad, in his inaugural speech, emphasized to develop Lumbini through modern technology to lengthen the stay of tourists visiting Lumbini and offered the support of the Government of India to Lumbini for the same.

Participated by high government officials of both India and Nepal, the first day of Program was the technical session where presentations on Tour Operations between Nepal and India and Development of the Buddhist Circuit were made. Mr. Manoj Kumar Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Uttar Pradesh spoke on the initiatives taken by Uttar Pradesh for tourism promotion and offered to promote Lumbini and the Buddhist Circuit by establishing information centers in Buddhist sites of Uttar Pradesh, India. Mr. R. P. Goswami, Special Secretary, Govt. of UP India, Mr  Prachanda Man Shrestha, former CEO of Nepal Tourism Board, Basant Bidari of Lumbini Development Trust, Bikram Pandey, Buddhist tourism entrepreneur, Upaul Majumdar, CEO, Hotel Annapurna and other high level delegates from India and Nepal spoke on the various subjects related with Buddhist Circuit and  tourism promotion  in Nepal and India.

The main objectives of organizing the Tourism Mart was to promote the Buddhist sites of both the countries, interactions between the tourism entrepreneurs of both countries and to expand  business network. In addition to Indian participants from Bihar, Delhi  and Uttar Pradesh from India,  Nepali tourism entrepreneurs from Dhangadi, Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Kathmandu, Chitwan, Lumbini and Bhairawa are participating in the Mart. On January 16, business to business session (B2B) session took place on January 16 among the tourism entrepreneurs of the two countries.

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Nepal 'Once is not Enough' for The Dutch

Nepal participated in the renowned travel and trade fair held in the city of Utrecht, The Netherlands. The fair, Vakantiebeurs, also considered as the biggest Travel and Trade Fair in Benelux region was held from 8-13 January 2013 for 8 days. The fair was dedicated for both trade and public where more than 1,00,000 visitors visited.

Nepal stall, right near to the main entrance at the Hall 1, received more than 7,000 visitors. The positive publicity about Nepal by the various news channels, travel channels, the local newspapers and mainly the word of mouth, has been one of the many reasons which increased the interests amongst the visitors.

The visitors were very much focused on Nepal as a destination and wanted to visit more than once. They were curious about seasonality, connectivity, safety and security. 

Nepal´s participation at the Fair was organized by Nepal Tourism Board and  private tourism companies from Nepal also showcaseed their packages and services in the fair. The participating companies also received encouraging response from the visitors. Eight participating companies were: Icefall Adventures, Nepal Trailblazer Trekking, Everest Sherpa Resort, White Snow Treks & Expeditions, Himalayan Ecological Trekking, Explore Dolpo Treks & Expeditions, Himalayan Rock Tour, Trekking and Expedition and Firante Treks & Expeditions.

Nepal stall was also visited by the officials of the Embassy of Nepal in Belgium. The officials extended all possible support and cooperation needed from the Nepalese Embassy to NTB and the participating companies to jointly promote Nepalese tourism in the region. Mr. Shashi Paudyal, Hon. PRR of NTB to The Netherlands also actively supported to make the participation successful.

Nepal Tourism Board was represented by Mr. Mani Raj Lamichhane, Manager and Mr. Pradeep Paudyal, Sr. Officer.

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Nepal promoted in South Indian Hub, Bangalore

Nepal Tourism Board, along with seven Nepalese private sectors - Heritage Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd, Mac Tours & Travels P. Ltd, Explore Kailash Treks Pvt. Ltd, Scenic Mountain Travels & Tours P. Ltd, Abhiwadan Holidays Pvt. Ltd, Ojha Holidays Tours & Treks Pvt. Ltd and Kathmandu Holidays Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd participated in the Travel & Tourism Fair in Bangalore (TTF) held at Koramangala Indoor Stadium, Bangalore, India from 11th to 13th Jan 2013. The 3 day fair was jointly inaugurated by Mrs. G. Sathayavathi, Director-Tourism, Government of Karnataka and Dr. C D Dyavaiah, MD, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation.

India, having a huge number of outbound tourists is a major potential market for Nepal. Having the advantage of being next door neighbours with cultural proximity / easy travel access to both the countries, the prospect of travel between the countries remains very high. TTF considered to be one of the major tourism fairs of India, was an ideal platform for consumers, buyers and sellers.  A total of 225 participants from 8 countries and 20 Indian states showcasing their tourism products and services participated in the three day fair.

Placed in the prime location, the Nepal stall attracted many positive buyers, media and the general public alike. The buyers were more focused on pilgrimage tours and natural sightseeing tours whereas the general public queried on issues of connectivity, travel documents and frontier formalities for entry of vehicles. Besides the religious tours to Pashupatinath, Muktinath and Kailash; city tours of Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan also received many queries. 

The Nepal stall was recognised by TTF with the best promotional material award in electronic form.

The Fair was participated by Sr. Officer Ms. Ranu Shah and Asst. Officer Ms. Janaki Prasad Upadhyay fom Nepal Tourism Board.

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Lumbini Marathon organized for peace

Nepal Army´s runners dominated the first edition of Lumbini Peace Marathon claiming the top three positions in the men´s half-marathon event here on January 15, 2013.

Army´s Letter Singh Khatri clocked 1 hour 7 minutes 54 seconds to complete 21.1 km in the marathon organized by buddhacircuit.com at the birthplace of Gautam Buddha to mark the conclusion of Visit Lumbini Year 2012.

Another army man Krishna Basnet completed the half-marathon in 1 hour 7 minutes 57 seconds to take the second position while Kalyan Baniya finished third with a timing of 1 hour 7 minutes 58 seconds.

Winner Khatri expressed his delight and praised the route of the marathon. "I´m happy to win the first edition of the marathon held at the birthplace of Lord Buddha," said Khatri. "I´m satisfied with my performance. It was an easy route to run. It would have been better if the organizers had set up more water points on the route," he added.

Army´s Arjun Bahadur Basnet holds the national record of 1 hour 6 minutes 49 seconds in half-marathon. "I finished around a minute behind the national record. I´m happy with my timing. It was close to my expectations," said Khatri.

Winner Khatri received Rs 50,000 while runner-up Basnet bagged Rs 35,000. Third-place holder Baniya got Rs 25,000.

Likewise, Bishwarupa Budha from Jumla clinched the gold medal in the women´s 10-km race. She clocked 36 minutes 22.90 seconds and bagged Rs 25,000 as the winner. Armed Police Force (APF) athlete Kanchhi Maya Koju finished second with a timing of 36 minutes 29.60 seconds while her teammate Bindra Shrestha clocked 37 minutes 30.20 seconds to finish the race in the third position. Koju received Rs 15,000 while Shrestha bagged Rs 10,000.

In the boys´ section of 5-km school race Raju Shrestha from Bhaktapur emerged the winner with a timing of 16 minutes 1.81 seconds while Bharat Saud from Kailali (16:6.47 minutes) and Akhilesh Yadav from Nawalparasi (16:53.59 minutes) finished second and third respectively. Sangita Khadka from Kathmandu won the 5-km school race in girls´ section clocking 19 minutes 5.68 seconds while Sharmila Chhetri from Bhaktapur claimed silver with a timing of 19 minutes 51.18 seconds.

Rina Kapali, also from Bhaktapur, finished third after completing the race in 19 minutes 51.62 seconds. Winners of both sections in the school race bagged Rs 10,000 each while the runners-up and third-place holders bagged Rs 7,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, Mahendra Maharjan from Kathmandu finished on top of the victory stand in the veterans´ 5-km race with a timing of 16 minutes 37.61 seconds. Krishna Bahadur Gurung from Gorkha clocked 16 minutes 43.73 seconds and Bhim Bahadur Gurung from Dang completed the race in 17 minutes 5 seconds to finish second and third respectively.

In the wheelchair race for the differently-abled, Rahul Kohar claimed the gold medal and Rs 5,000.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai handed over medals and awards to the winners.

Despite branding it as Lumbini Peace Marathon, organizer buddhacircuit.com considered only the half-marathon as the major event of the first edition. "This is the beginning. We´ll add full marathon in coming years and try to make the event bigger every year," said Bikram Pandey, the chief organizer.

Tourism entrepreneur Pandey also organizes the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon and Annapurna Marathon under the banner of Himalayan Expeditions.
The main themes of the marathon are Run for Lumbini for Local Tourism, Run for Buddha, Run for Peace and Run for Enlightenment. 

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Japanese Film Fest in Kathmandu

The Embassy of Japan is organizing a three-day Japanese Film Festival in Kathmandu from January 24~26.

The film festival is being organised as part of introducing and promoting Japanese culture, society and way of life etc. to the friendly people of Nepal, according to a statement issued by the Embassy of Japan in Kathmandu to inform about the event.

Similarly, one-day film festival is also being organized in Pokhara on Tuesday, February 5, 2013.

Screenings schedule of the film festival is as follows:

Venue: Nepal Tourism Board, Exhibition Road

24th January (Thursday)

10:45a.m-1:00p.m. (SHODO GIRLS!!)

1:15p.m.-3:05p.m. (Hachiko)

3:20p.m.-4:10p.m. (Can you see Our Light? First Festival after the Tsunami)

25th January (Friday)

11:00a.m.-12:40p.m. (Water Boys)

1:00p.m.-2:45p.m. (Éclair)

3:00p.m.-3:30p.m. (Light up Nippon)

26th January (Saturday)

11:00a.m.-12:45p.m. (Happy Flight)

1:00p.m.-3:05p.m. (WANKO-The Story of Me, My Family and My Dog) 3:20p.m.-3:50p.m. (Setting Sail from the Ruins)

Entry passes are available at the Japan Resource Center, Embassy of Japan, Panipokhari on first come first serve basis. All the films are in Japanese language with English subtitles.

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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.