Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board
July 26, 2013
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Two-week long interaction on marketing strategies concludes
Two-week long interaction on future marketing and promotion strategies between Nepal Tourism Board and various travel trade associations ended on July 23, 2013 in a positive noted. Officials of all tourism associations unanimously agreed that the traditional marketing strategies have to be changed to cash in the mobility of affluent tourists from around the world. In the final round of the meeting, Nepal Tourism Board held discussion with Adventure Sports Tourism Society (ASTS), Society of Travel and Tours Operators Nepal (SOTTO), Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN), Board of Airlines Representatives of Nepal (BARN), Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), Village Tourism Promotion Forum Nepal (VITOF) and Himalaya Resuce Assocaition (HRA) on July 21,23 and 23 respectively.
In the discussion, representatives of ASTS raised the issues of promoting various adventure tourism sports like Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon, ultra light, Paragliding, bungee jumping, Elephant Polo and Elephant race and festivals in the international travel marts by publishing and printing dedicated brochures, CDs and Posters. They also requested Nepal Tourism Board to support their promotional and other activities in Nepal and outside. SOTTO’s representatives requested the Nepal Tourism Board to expand its area in FAM Tour both for journalists and tour operators.
At another meeting, Ms. Pawana Shrestha, General Manager of Etihad Airways in Kathmandu said that it is always ready to support Nepal Tourism Board in joint promotion and would try to hold a regional meeting of Etihad officials in Kathmandu. Replying the question of high airfare to Kathmandu from various destinations raised by Nepal Tourism Board officials, they said that high fuel cost in Nepal is the sole factor for high airfare. Nepal Tourism Bord also assured the AOAN that it would support its effort to in the air safety and would join hand together to project Nepal as a safe destination.
The Representatives of Nepal Mountaineering Association explaining the importance of celebrating the jubilee year of first ascent on the Mountain Peaks , requested Nepal Tourism Board to celebrate it jointly for international promotion. President of HRA proposed to open a Tourism Crisis Response Center to address the crisis issue from one single center. The representatives of VITOF requested for supporting training program for homestay.
Responding the queries, Acting CEO of Nepal Tourism Board Mr. Subash Niroula said that Nepal Tourism Board welcomed the proactive and positive responses made by tourism associations. He further said that Nepal Tourism Board needs collaboration and cooperation of tourism associations to move ahead in the international market to achieve desired goal.
Tourism entrepreneurs stress on promotional activities
Tourism entrepreneurs have stressed the need for regular promotional activities to boost tourism in Pokhara. Tourism entrepreneurs said the inflow of domestic as well as foreign tourists in Pokhara could be increased only if promotion activities are carried out throughout the year.
“We are lagging far behind when it comes to promotional activities,” said Surya Bahadur Bhujel, chairman of Pokhara Tourism Council (PTC).
Bhujel also urged Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to organize promotional activities at least thrice a year. “We need to organize promotion activities at least thrice a year.” According to Bhujel, Pokhara´s tourist destinations should be promoted in India, China and other South Asian countries.
Tourism entrepreneurs also stressed the need for evaluating the effectiveness of past promotional activities. “We need to look whether the promotional activities conducted in the past have been fruitful,” said Hari Sharma, chairman of Paschimanchal Hotel Entrepreneurs Association (PHEA).
Sharma also stressed the need for developing physical infrastructures to encourage tourists to spend more time in Pokhara. “Many tourists complain about lack of adequate places to visit in Pokhara,” said Sharma. ´We must develop more places where tourists spend time.”
Trekking entrepreneurs said they are facing problems as trekking routes have been shortened. “Annapurna circuit trekking route, which was a 21-day trek, can now be completed in just seven days,” said Narayan Prasad Sapkota, Western Chapter President of Trekking Agencies´ Association of Nepal (TAAN).
National Film Award 2069 pays tribute to Nepali cinema
The country’s first National Film Award 2069 was held on July 20, 2013 at Nepal Army Officer’s Club in Sundhara. Organized by Nepal Film Development Company (NFDC) in association with Gopi Krishna Entertainment and supported by Nepal Tourism Board, the award function was broadcasted live by TV Filmy and Radio Filmy.
A few members of the Indian film fraternity were also present for the show. Girish Johar from Sahara Motion Pictures, Sunny Khanna, director of Bheja Fry 2 and producer Ganesh Jain expressed their honor at being part of the first National Film Award of Nepal and also talked about scouting for local talents to take to Bollywood. Udit Narayan and Deepa Jha were greatly felicitated during the entire show with film personalities reminiscing about the bygone days with Jha.
Actor Rajesh Hamal started the function by introducing the five juries on the stage: Shubha Bahadur Sunam, music director; Chaitya Devi Singh, actor; Pradeep Kumar Upadhyaya, sound engineer; Manju Kumar Shrestha, cinematographer; Narayan Dhoj Panta, production supervisor. A joint performance by actors Bhuwan Chand, Chaitya Devi, Basundhara Bhusal, Sushil Chettri and Bhuwan KC was followed by the three actresses being felicitated by Madhav Poudel, Minister of Information and Communications, for their contribution to Nepali cinema.
Chaitya Devi Singh, Sushil Chettri, Bhuwan Chand, Bhuwan KC and Basundhara Bhusal performing during the National Film Award on Saturday.
The most popular songs from the yesteryears like ‘Maiti Ghar’, ‘Mohani Lagla Hai’ and those from contemporary Nepali cinema were presented in a dance performance by actors Mausami Malla, Nandita KC, Benisha Hamal, Sushil Chettri, etc. Popular singers like Dipak Limbu, Anju Pant and Rajesh Payal Rai also presented their popular songs on the stage.
The films were judged in 16 different categories which were named after legendary film artists. The winners from each category took home a trophy, a certificate and a cash prize worth Rs 51,000 with the exception of Best Director who was awarded with Rs 1 lakh. The Best Actor (Male and Female) also won a Samsung Galaxy Pad each.
Program on Cinema Tourism organized
Nepal Tourism Board in association with Nepal Film Development Company (NFDC) organized a program on July 21, 2013 on Prospect of Cinema Tourism in Nepal. In the program, Acting CEO of Nepal Tourism Board Mr. Subash Nirola made the extentive presentation on the different aspects of cinema tourism in Nepal. He recalled the name of few films and directors-actors who helped to promote Nepal’s tourism in the international market. He fondly remembered Dev Anand, Amitabh Bachchan who contributed greatly in enhanching Nepal’s image. Given the unparallel beauty of Nepal, he said, Nepal is the best location for cinema. He requested Ganesh Jain, Chairman of Venus Movies who was present there to shoot a movie in Nepal and assured all possible cooperation to make it successful.
Veteran actor-director Mr. Neer Shah also spoke on the history of film tourism in Nepal and told the concern parties to find out the reason why Indian movies stopped shooting films in Nepal. Actress Nisha Adhikari shared her experience in climbing Mt. Everest in May this year. Mr. Nirav Poudel, Managing Director of Nepal Film Development Company welcomed the guests present there. In the program. Apart from Udit Narayan Jha and Deepa Jha, presence of Russian actress Yanina Kalganova and prominent Nepalese actors and actress made the program lively.
UNWTO to host seminar on pilgrimage and spiritual tourism in 2014
To raise awareness among the international community about the growing importance of pilgrimage and spiritual tourism in the light of tourism development is among the main objectives of the first International Congress on Pilgrimages and Tourism, to be held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in September 2014. UNWTO will collaborate with local and national Spanish authorities as organizers for the event (Santiago de Compostela, 12 July 2013).
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, Secretary of State for Tourism of Spain Isabel Borrego Cortés and Galician President Alberto Nuñez Feijoo have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to organize the Congress which will take place in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, epicenter of one of the most renowned pilgrimage routes in the world: The Route of Santiago. Policies and strategies for the preservation and management of heritage sites along religious routes will be discussed, highlighting the positive contribution of pilgrimages to sustainable growth and international peace.
“Alongside religious conviction, values of exchange are at the heart of the spiritual journey in any pilgrimage, the same values at the core of tourism,” said the UNWTO Secretary-General. “I have every confidence that this event will offer a unique opportunity for us to explore the dimensions of tourism and pilgrimages, and help us to see how tourism can foster spiritual and cultural respect and understanding among people, while creating opportunities to benefit populations worldwide,” he added.
Spiritual tourism comprises a significant portion of the tourism sector, with pilgrims and religious travelers making up a sizeable part of domestic and international tourism. UNWTO estimates that 300 to 330 million tourists visit the world´s key religious sites every year.
An extra 12 million international tourists in the first four months of 2013
A total of 298 million international tourists travelled worldwide between January and April 2013, 12 million more than in the same period last year according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Prospects for the current tourism peak season remain positive with some 435 million tourists expected to travel abroad in the May-August period.
International tourist arrivals grew by 4.3% in the first four months of 2013 to reach a total of 298 million, up from 286 million, despite a challenging global economic environment.
Results were positive in all regions, with the strongest growth in Asia and the Pacific (+6%), Europe (+5%) and the Middle East (+5%) and weaker growth in the Americas (+1%) and Africa (+2%). By subregion, South-East Asia (+12%), South Asia (+9%) and Central and Eastern Europe (+9%) were the star performers.
“International tourism continues to show an extraordinary dynamism” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “The 4.3% growth in the number of international tourists crossing borders in the first months of 2013 confirms that tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of our times, contributing in a central manner to the economy of a growing number of countries” he added.
Emerging economies growing faster
Growth was stronger in emerging economy destinations (+4.6%) as compared to advanced economies (+3.3%), a trend which has marked the sector for many years now. By region, growth was positive in all regions, but results where rather mixed.
Asia and the Pacific (+6%) saw the highest relative growth boosted by arrivals in South-East Asia (+12%) and South Asia (+9%).
International tourist arrivals to Europe, the most visited region in the world, were up by 5%; an excellent result in view of the economic situation in the region. Central and Eastern Europe (+9%) continues to lead growth, while Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+5%) also turned in strong results.
Africa (+2%) and the Americas (+1%) reported a rather weak growth in the first four months of 2013, though following the strong progress of 2012 (+6% and +5%, respectively). At the subregional level, results were rather flat in all subregions of the Americas except in Central America (+4%). In Africa, the 3% growth in Subsaharan Africa contrasts with even results in North Africa.
Growth in the Middle East is estimated at 5%, though this figure should be taken with caution as it is based on still rather limited available data.
435 million tourists expected to travel abroad during the tourism peak season
Prospects remain positive for the period May-August, the Northern Hemisphere’s summer season. Around 435 million tourists are expected to travel abroad during these four months which account for as much as 40% of all international tourist arrivals registered in a year. The pace of growth might slow somewhat, as shoulder seasons tend to show faster growth than the peak season.
International air travel reservations for May-August from business intelligence tool Forwardkeys support this outlook with a 4% increase in bookings for that period. The highest growth is recorded in international flight reservations from Africa and the Middle East (+7%) and the Americas (+5%), followed by Europe (+3%) and Asia and the Pacific (+2%).
This outlook is confirmed by the UNWTO Panel of Experts Confidence Index survey which shows sustained confidence for this period, though with variations by region and activity. Confidence picked up significantly in Europe, the Middle East, among Global operators, tour operators and travel agencies. On the other hand, confidence decreased among experts in Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and Africa, as well as among experts in the transport industry.
For the full year of 2013, international tourist arrivals are expected to increase by 3% to 4% in line with UNWTO’s long-term forecast of 3.8% per year for the period 2010 to 2020.