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Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board

In this Issue :

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Minister Shrestha addressed ICAO conference
Nepal, S Korea to sign MoU for railway service
Tara Air to fly to Tikapur
World Tourism Day on ''Tourism and Water'': greater efforts on water preservation needed

Minister Shrestha addressed ICAO conference

 Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ram Kumar Shrestha during the 38th International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) conference, held in Montreal, Canada from September 24 to October 4, 2013, briefed about the progress made by the aviation industry of the country. Addressing the conference, Shrestha also informed that the government has implemented the Machine Readable Passport (MRP) in the country and is also planning to upgrade the MRP to electronic passport. During the ICAO conference, minister Shrestha made a presentation on ‘Air Navigation - Emerging Issues’, states a press release issued by the Embassy of Nepal, Ottawa, Canada. The 38th ICAO conference will end on October 4, 2013.

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Nepal, S Korea to sign MoU for railway service

The government has decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of South Korea for the development of railway service in Nepal.

The cabinet´s Financial and Infrastructure Committee recently approved the draft of MoU forwarded by the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT), paving the way for the ministry to sign the agreement with South Korea.

MoPIT Secretary Tulasi Prasad Sitaula described the agreement as ´an umbrella´ that can open new avenues of mutual cooperation in the sector.

According to the draft MoU, a committee formed by MoPIT will hold discussion with the officials of the South Korean government on issues of mutual cooperation and devise programs for the development of railway service in Nepal. The draft envisages holding bilateral meeting in alternative locations of each country.

The joint committee of Nepal and South Korea will devise programs and propose to their respective governments for implementation, Sitaula said. “It will also look for resources to implement the program,” he added.

MoPIT is soon inviting the Korean authorities to sign the MoU. The MoU will remain valid for three years and can be extended for additional two years if both parties are willing.

Though the agreement does not include any specific program, officials of Department of Railways (DoR) described the proposal as a goodwill gesture from the South Korean government.

However, officials say the Korean assistance is likely to come in the proposed East-West Railway project which has not seen much progress due to fund crunch.

Korea Railway Network Authority, the Korean government undertaking, is already involved in Nepal as a consultant.

It is learnt that the Korean government has showed interest to develop railway service and transfer Korean technology to Nepal as well as train Nepali manpower in the railway technology.

A joint venture company, which includes the Korea Railway Network Authority, recently completed Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Simara-Bardiwas section of the East-West Railway project. The venture has also won the contract to prepare DPR of Simara- Butwal stretch of the East-West Railway.

The government plans to start laying down tracks on Simara-Bardibas stretch from this fiscal year. The East-West Railway is estimated to cost Rs 800 billion, according to a feasibility study.

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Tara Air to fly to Tikapur

Tara Air is beginning scheduled flights to Tikapur from Thursday. According to a press statement issued on Tuesday, the airline will fly once a week on Nepalgunj-Tikapur-Nepalgunj once a week on Thursdays.

Tara Air has already signed an agreement with Tikapur Airport Research Construction and Operation Committee to conduct scheduled flights on Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Tikapur route, Saral SJB Rana, deputy director- sales and marketing of Tara Air, said in the statement.

The fare for Tikapur-Nepalgunj and Kathmandu-Nepalgunj-Tikapur has been fixed at Rs 2,500 and Rs 7,500, respectively, according to the statement.

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World Tourism Day on ''Tourism and Water'': greater efforts on water preservation needed

27th of September marks the United Nations´ calendar day highlighting tourism, a sector that is driving socioeconomic growth and development all over the world. On World Tourism Day 2013, dedicated to “Tourism and Water – Protecting Our Common Future” in line with the International Year of Water Cooperation, stakeholders called for greater global efforts in water preservation.

Opening the official celebrations of World Tourism Day (WTD) 2013, hosted this year by the Maldives, President Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik said “Solutions to the Maldives´ water challenges are in the tourism sector. I hope that the industry will pay attention to the way the Maldives has been addressing the water challenge. The Maldives must become an example of what can be done.”

The call by the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon on the responsibility of the tourism sector to safeguard and intelligently manage water was echoed by UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai: “As one of the world’s leading socio-economic activities, the tourism sector must take a leadership role and ensure companies and destinations invest in adequate water management throughout the value chain.”

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of the Maldives, Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoo, stressed how “tourism has become a powerful force for environmental preservation and protection. For our country, the tourism sector constitutes a priority because it is an important asset for the creation of wealth and employment.”

“This is a crucial issue for PATA and its members. The growth of the tourism sector brings inevitable challenges of balancing sustainability. We are delighted to join the celebrations of World Tourism Day and support this important and timely initiative here in the Maldives” said Martin Craigs, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

Tourism to lead in water preservation

As the highlight of WTD 2013, a high-level Think Tank on Tourism and Water gathered leading experts on water preservation, public and private sector tourism stakeholders and media experts to discuss key issues contributing to a more sustainable water future.

The following are the key insights of the Think Tank conclusions:

  • The Maldives is a paradigm of well-managed and sustainable water use in developing island States, where the availability of fresh water and the level of water consumption for tourism have become a particular concern. 
  • With over one billion people traveling the world every year, the tourism sector can play an educational role as a water-conscious sector.
  • Though tourism only uses 1% of global water consumption, challenges remain for water use at destinations, since the sector often competes with other sectors for water.
  • There is significant room for increasing efficiency and reducing cost of water consumption in hotels (water accounts for 10% of utility bills in many hotels, most of which pay for the water they consume twice, first in buying fresh water and by disposing of it as wastewater).
  • Investing in green technology is economically beneficial, with profits from water sanitation and wastewater treatment having a return on investment (ROI) of one to three years.
  • Given tourism´s size and reach, the sector is well-positioned to make a real contribution to preserving the world´s precious water resources.
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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.