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Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board

In this Issue :

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5th National Tourism Fair begins
Nepalese Aviation Heading to 'Go Safe'
Nepal promoted in US
Cooperation seeks for promoting Buddhist tourism in Sri Lanka

5th National Tourism Fair begins

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Ram Kumar Shrestha inaugurated  the 5th National Tourism Fair 2013 on May 10. It is being organized by Nepal Tourism Board  to promote domestic tourism.

Addressing the inaugural function Minister Shrestha said that Nepal Tourism Board should invest now to promote and develop domestic tourism. He also outlined to strengthen Nepal Airlines by leasing new aircraft for time being before two aircraft come into operation in two years. He also emphasized to speed up the work of developing regional and international airports to cater large number of tourists coming by air.

In his speech, Secretary of  Ministry for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Sushil Ghimire said that the homework was going on to exempt royalty fee for climbing the mountain peaks in the Far West Nepal. He also informed that the Holy Flame has been taken from Lumbini  to South Korea, Lhasa and Beijing  where it would inflame for 24 hrs and would be addressed as Lumbini Flame. He said it would help us to project Lumbini as a part of Nepal against what has been rumored about it.

Mr. Susbash Nirola, Officiating CEO of Nepal Tourism Board said that Nepal Tourism Board faced many obstacles and challenges in organizing such event.s. “Strike and banda deters tourists coming to Nepal which contributes to the decline of tourists in Nepal,” he said. Tourism Fair in Kathmandu and outside is an effort to link the tourism industry across the country, he said.

NTB has already organised three different regional tourism fairs in Dharan, Dhangadi and Nepalgunj.

The fair has participants from 50 districts. Around 110 stalls of tourism organisations, government and non-government organisations, district development committees, trusts and development committees, tourism publications, and other industries are there in the fair. The organiser has a target of attracting around 50,000 quality visitors.

During the tourism fair there will be around 13 participants providing homestay facility in the Tarai and mountain regions. Tourism Development Committee – Sirubari, Panchase Region Development Committee, Nagarkot Community Home Stay Village Tourism Management, Chitlang Community Homestay Management Committee, Shree Bhadagoan Tourism Development and Management Committee, Bandipur Tourism Development Committee, Ghale Gaun, Meghauli Homestay, Kapan Homestay Village, Tangtine Homestay, Jaibikmarg Dalla Homestay - Bardiya, and Adventure Rural Development Programme Nepal are the 13 participants who will showcase the concept and package of homestay in Nepal.

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Nepalese Aviation Heading to 'Go Safe'

A five day long Training Workshop (6th-10th May, 2013) concluded today at Gokarna Safari Resort, Kathmandu as a Part of “Aviation Safety Awareness Campaign” by the Airline Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN). Having troubled by the highest rate of accident in last five years, Nepalese Sky has become a matter of concern to everyone including foreign Tourists and the Insurance Companies.  With an intention to enhance the level of Air Safety and also educate concerned user groups including reinsurance Companies worldwide, the Industry has stepped with an initial program on SMS (Safety Management System) with 160 Participants from 17 different Airline Companies including Pilots, Engineers, Managers, Ground Crew, etc. with the assistance of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) certified trainers provided by the World Food Program. The training has been supported by many organizations like Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, IFC (a member of the World Bank group), Yeti Airlines and many other partners.

During the Inauguration Program, Honorable Ram Kumar Shrestha, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation cited STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) operation and the extreme topographical adversities as main causes of Air Accidents in Nepal. He also explained on government’s efforts to strengthen the situation of Aviation Safety in the Country.

Mr. Tri Ratna Manandhar, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal appreciated Private Sector Stake Holders’ efforts in initiating the Air Safety Campaign and ensured every support from the Civil Aviation Authority regarding such interests.

Capt. Samir Sajet, Chief of the Aviation Safety Unit, Mr. Valintino Bagatsing, IFC Resident Representative and Ms. Nicole Menage, Chief of WFT Nepal Office shared sights on Air Safety situation of Nepal and ensured every support from their side to help Nepal come out of this situation in future.

Capt. Rameshwor Thapa, President of AWON concluded the event with commitment from the side of Nepalese Aviation Industry to practice ‘Safe Flying’ and invited everyone concerned to join hands with the Industry in this mission. He also thanked all concerned including the event host, Gokarna Safari Resort.

PATA Nepal Chapter is the Industry Partner of this event and helping to integrate Nepalese Tourism Industry including Nepal Tourism Board and the International Partners to join hands in this initiation to make Nepal a “Safe Air Travel” destination.

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Nepal promoted in US

The Nepali Embassy in the US organized Nepal Promotion Event at Washington DC on May 4 and 5, 2013.

Issuing a press statement, the embassy said the programs were mainly targeted at familiarizing US citizens with Nepal´s rich culture and natural beauty. The first day of the event -- Embassy Open House - was organized at the ambassador´s residence.

Cultural Tourism DC- Passport DC, a local non-profit organization, supported the program by publicizing it several weeks before the event took place. It also provided transportation facilities to the visitors attending the event.

Representatives of about 40 embassies in the US participated at the ´Embassy Open House´ program. More than 30,000 visitors were estimated to have visited the event. “Visitors enjoyed Nepali cuisine, watched video presentation of natural and cultural wonders of Nepal, danced in folk music and took home Nepali promotional materials and handicraft exhibited during the program,” the statement added.

A number of Nepali restaurants based Washington Metropolitan area served Nepali delicacies -- choila, alu-tama, furundana and pakauda - to the visitors.

On the occasion, embassy officials disseminated information about tourist attractions and investment opportunities in Nepal.

On the second day, the embassy organized the ´Cultural Show: Music and Dances of Nepal´ at Greenburg Theater of American University in Washington DC with a view to familiarize the audiences with Nepal´s rich diversity in culture, costumes, tradition, and variety of music and dances of Nepal. Traditional dances like Charya, Bajrayogini, Maruni, Bhojpuri, Newari and Gopi Krishna were performed at the show.

About 300 people, including the officials of the State Department, attended the show.

Nepalese ambassador to the US Dr Shankar Prasad Sharma welcomed the audience by highlighting the country´s rich cultural diversity and tourism attractions of Nepal, according to the statement.

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Cooperation seeks for promoting Buddhist tourism in Sri Lanka

Tourism entrepreneurs sought help from the Sri Lankan ambassador to Nepal W M Senevirathna to start Kathmandu-Colombo flights.

“Since there is a huge potential for religious tourism, especially Buddhism, in Nepal, direct flights on the Kathmandu-Colombo route will bring more Sri Lankan pilgrims to Nepal,” said president of Nepal-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bhakta Bahadur Malla, at an interaction organised by the bilateral chamber here in Kathmandu on May 3, 2013.

It will not only strengthen bilateral relations between the two South Asian countries but also promote tourism, trade, social and religious relations, he said, adding that the promotion of bilateral trade will bring both the countries closer.

Explaining about the Buddhist Circuit, tourism entrepreneur Bikram Pandey, said that the promotion of Lumbini in Sri Lanka will help boost religious tourism in Nepal. “Since Lumbini is a holy place for Buddhists all over the world, it should be promoted in Buddhist Sri Lanka,” he said, adding that the campaign ‘Following the Buddha’s Path’ under the Buddhist Circuit will help promote Nepal’s tourism. “A direct flight between Colombo and Kathmandu will help promote not only tourism but also trade.”

“Both the governments are doing their homework on a direct Colombo-Kathmandu flight and it will materialise soon,” said Senevirathna.

Nepal should promote Lumbini in Sri Lanka as 80 per cent of Sri Lankans are Buddhists and most of them are interested in visiting Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, he said, adding that Nepal and Sri Lanka should promote bilateral economic, trade and tourism relations.

Due to the absence of a direct flight, Sri Lankan tourist arrivals have started to drop in recent times. From January to April — in the four months of 2013 — some 564 Sri Lankan tourists visited Nepal via air, whereas in the same period of 2012, some 648 Sri Lankan tourists had visited Nepal, according to Nepal Tourism Board. “Likewise, in April, only 130 Sri Lankan tourists arrived via air compared to 134 in the same month last year.”

In recent years, Nepal’s trade deficit has also been increasing with Sri Lanka — like with other countries — which can be reduced by promoting tourism in Sri Lanka.

According to Trade and Export Promotion Centre data, Nepal exported merchandise worth Rs 15.48 million, whereas it imported merchandise worth Rs 139.34 million in 2012. Similarly, Nepal had exported merchandise worth Rs 15.52 million and imported merchandise worth Rs 74.38 million in 2011.

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Photo of the week
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Ram Kumar Shrestha inaugurating the 5th National Tourism Fair

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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.