Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board
October 25, 2013
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Chrysanthemum fair at Jawalakhel from Friday
Nepal Floriculture Association (FAN) in collaboration with theDepartment of Agriculture is organizing the seventh edition of chrysanthemum Flower Competitive and fair from October 25.
The three-day fair will be held at Jawalakhel in Lalitpur till October 27.
Organizers have stated that this fair will be fruitful in promoting flower cultivation, promotion and marketing.
Visitors will get to know more about the flower.
The fair will feature 28 stalls along with 24 professional stalls and four competitive stalls of seasonal flowers, decorative plants, flower seeds, and fertilizers.
Organizers have expected that around 30, 000 people will visit the fair.
Govt enforces new criteria for hotels
The government has enforced a new set of criteria for star hotels and tourist standard resorts. It has also introduced a new category -- deluxe five-star.
The new criteria was published in the Gazette on Monday.
As per the notice published in the Gazette, the government has enforced the criteria by making amendments to the Hotel, Lodge, Restaurant, Bar and Tour Operator Regulation 1981.
As per the new criteria, all star hotels need to increase rooms by 20 percent. Similarly, they should have facilities like Wi-Fi and CCTV and should have LCD/LED TV in all rooms.
New hotels should follow the criteria immediately, while existing hotels have five years to meet the new criteria. As per the notice, hotels that fail to meet the criteria within the given timeframe will be dropped to lower category.
Hoteliers have welcomed the new standardization order. They say the new standards will help to raise the quality of hotels in Nepal in line with the international standard. They have also hailed the government decision to introduce deluxe five-star category, saying that it has opened the doors for investment in deluxe five-star hotels. Also existing five start hotels can upgrade themselves into deluxe five-star category by adding new facilities, they said.
Madhav Om Shrestha, executive director of the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), said the amendments to the regulation were made in consultation with the association. He also told Republica that HAN will help member hotels to implement the standardization order within the given timeframe.
According to HAN officials, five-star hotels like Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, Hotel Radisson Kathmandu Hotel and Soaltee Crown Plaza already have the necessary infrastructures to upgrade themselves into the category of deluxe five-star. Other five-star hotels are also making preparations to upgrade to the deluxe five-star category, they said.
As per the notice published in the Gazette, deluxe five-star hotels should have a minimum of 200 rooms, more than five food and beverage outlets with touchscreen or remote Personal Digital Assistance (PDA), banquets having at least 6,000 square feet, spa and sauna bath, and vehicle scanning equipment and baggage scanner, among others.
“The hotels that meet the criteria have to apply at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) for upgradation. The government will then initiate necessary procedure for upgrading,” Shrestha added.
Prabin Bahadur Pandey, executive director of Shangri-la Hotel, said the new standardization order helps existing five-star hotels to separate into different category on the basis of infrastructures and facilities they have. “We will upgrade ourselves into the deluxe five-star category. We have the required space to add the facility as specified in the standardization order,” he added.
Ghale elected NRNA president
Shesh Ghale has been elected as the president of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA). Ghale got 510 of the cast votes while the other contender Tenzi Sherpa could muster only 280 votes.
This is the first time in the decade-long history of NRNA that the president of the association has been elected through election. All the past presidents of the association were elected unopposed.
This time also efforts were made till late Sunday evening to elect the president on consensus basis. But the efforts went in vain. Along with Ghale and Sherpa, Ram Pratap Thapa, Hitman Gurung and Rameshwar Shah had also filed candidacy for the post of president. However, they had withdrawn at the last hour and supported Ghale.
The sixth general convention of NRNA also elected T B Karki and Bhawan Bhatta as the vice-presidents, Kumar Panta as the general secretary, Ranju Thapa as the secretary and Badri KC as the treasurer.
The new executive committee will serve for two years. Talking to media after his election to the post, Ghale said he was elected because he had visited over two dozen countries to know about concerns and issues of Non-Resident Nepalis (NRNs) at the grassroots level.
South Asian Conference on Sanitation concluded
President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav inaugurated the SACOCAN-V aimed a function in Bhaktapur durbar square on October 22, 2013. During the opening, Bhaktapur district was declared as 10th Open Defecation Free (ODF) district. The opening was attended by government delegates, Civil Society Organization (CSO) representatives, donor organization and media groups from eight South Asian Countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Addressing the inaugural program, president Dr Ram Baran Yadav said: “Constitution of Nepal has guaranteed for right to live in safer environment to its citizens and sanitation journey in Nepal is one of the step ensuring rights given by constitution. Sanitation programs in Nepal were move forward as a movement. Efforts done by Bhaktapur District declaring the District ODF is an example of glory for the nation. Investment on sanitation is an important step to save lives of children.”
He further stated that proper management of urban sanitation is challenging and contaminated water should be treated before mixing on the river. Chhabi Raj Pant, Minister for Urban Development, Nepal said “Nepal has achieved remarkable success on improving sanitation.”
Similarly, Biddhyadhar Mallik, Minister for Federal State and Local Development, Nepal said, “Local bodies in Nepal will continue to vital role to promote sanitation in Nepal particularly on social mobilization part.”
The program was also addressed by Kishor Thapa, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Abadh Kishore Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development.
On behalf of Civil Society Organization Ms Lajana Manandhar said,“Celebration of ODF is a result of community’s continuous effort that inspired people advocating for better sanitation.”
Raja Hasan Abbas, Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan said,”SACOSAN is knowledge sharing platform. Collective effort is key to achieve complete success.”
The two-day fifth South Asian Conference on Sanitation in Kathmandu, Nepal ended on October 24 leading civil society groups called on their governments to recognize the urgency of the South Asian sanitation crisis and set robust plans to achieve universal access to improved sanitation toilets and ending open defecation by 2020.
In turn, civil society groups are committing to actively support South Asian governments to intensify efforts for ending the sanitation crisis in the region. Four hundreed delegates and speakers, including renowned experts and practitioners from the eight SAARC countries are attending this ministerial conference where civil society representatives and community leaders will share the views of thousands of people living with the reality of unsafe sanitation and calling governments to deliver on commitments made during SACOSAN IV in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 2011.
They call for programs in line with the spirit of the UN General Assembly resolution and SACOSAN IV commitments, to recognize access to sanitation as a legally enforceable right;They urged South Asian governments to establish robust plans with adequate public funding to achieve universal access to improved toilets facilities and end open defecation by 2020.
The civil society leaders stressed that these time bound plans must be accompanied by comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plans; a sub-plan approach should be adopted by respective governments to ensure access to improved toilets for the poor and marginalized communities. The civil society leaders also call service providers to ensure toilets are accessible to everyone including people living with disabilities.
All school infrastructure development plans and designs, budgets for operation and maintenance, reporting and monitoring systems should integrate uneven progress on previous SACOSAN commitments. Despite high level commitments made during SACOSAN IV, there are still a billion people living without access to adequate toilets in South Asia.
Progress on sanitation is not reaching the poorest - Not only are current rates of progress on sanitation and hygiene too low in South Asia, much of the progress is not reaching the poorest. The current set of MDGs focus on average progress measured at country and global levels. These averages hide different inequalities, such as a rural - urban divide, exclusion of people living with disabilities and other marginalized groups.
Holistic plans are needed to tackle increasing urbanization -Each country is facing the challenge of increasing urbanization and must develop integrated plans that include the necessary policies, resourcing, technology and education. Here again, governments must ensure that these plans cater to the needs of the poorest and most marginalized. In addition, these plans must focus on sustainable management of human excreta and solid waste.
FAN South Asia Convener Ramisetty Murali says “it is high time that the governments of South Asia make an honest effort to implement past SACOSAN commitments to save the lives of millions of children dying from sanitation and hygiene related diseases and to improve the quality of life and livelihoods of the poor and most marginalized”.
Date: 3-5 November 2013
Venue: All over Nepal
|New Year of Nepal Sambhat
Date: 4 November, 2013
Venue: Kathmandu Valley