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Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board

In this Issue :

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Eastern Nepal to be promoted through Kanchajunga Makalu Travel Mart 2014
Nepal considers renting out Himalayas to private companies to sell tourist trips
Bisket Jatra kicks off amid tight security in Bhaktapur
Gokarna Forest Resort saving Rs 7.41m annually by adopting green technology

Eastern Nepal to be promoted through Kanchajunga Makalu Travel Mart 2014

With an objective of promoting tourist attractions and destinations of Eastern Nepal specially in India market Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and  Nepal Tourism Federation (NTF)along with the local stakeholders have planned to jointly organize Kanchanjunga Makalu Travel Mart (KMTM) 2014 in Hile. In this regard, preliminary interaction programs were held with local tourism stakeholders of Eastern Development Region in Kanyam, Hile, and Dharan respectively on 1st, 3rd and 6th April 2014 respectively. The interaction meetings were well participated by major Travel Trade Associations and travel trade as well as transport and other tourism service providers,hoteliers,destination development/management committees, home stay organizations etc.
Mr. Rewat Thapa, Member of NTB Executive Committee and Chairman of NTF and Mr. Roshan Thapa, Co-coordinator for upcoming KMTM 2014, highlighted the importance of the Mart for overall development and promotion of tourism of Eastern Region. They further requested for significant presence and support of key stakeholders in the proposed Mart. Mrs. Ujjwala Dali, Sr. Manager - India desk,Nepal Tourism Board and Coordinator for KMTM 2014, briefed the audience about the initiative, objective, and necessary preparation of KMTM 2014. While highlighting the importance of holding such International Marts within Nepal, she stressed on the unified initiative and willingness of all concerned local stakeholders to come forward with their valuable suggestions and assured cooperation to extend hospitality to the visiting local as well as Indian tour operators and media, to ensure grand success of the Mart.

The NTB officials Ms. Dali and Mr. Deepak R. Joshi – Asst. Manager Incharge also visited the potential tourism areas in Eastern Region of Nepal as a recce visit to understand the basic infrastructure facilities before finalizing the Fam Trip itinerary, which is being designed for Travel Agents and Media from Kathmandu and bordering Indian Cities. The team explored tea-garden and processing in Ilam ,home stay and sunrise view in Shree Antu, pilgrimage sites like Arjun Dhara,Satakchhidham in Jhapa; Moutain Views and scenic beauty of , Bhedetar and Hile Hill-stations, nature walks in Dhankuta and Koshitappu wildlife resreve; and pilgrimage and leisure segments in Sunsari as some of the major product offers for the tourists in Eastern Region.

The Mart is scheduled to be organized soon after final discussions of Core committee and is expected to be a milestone for the development and promotion of Eastern Region tourism attractions with a different and focused approach. It will surely help in creating awareness for development, strengthening of infrastructure and conscious efforts from the local stakeholders to upgrade the tourist facilities in Eastern Region.

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Nepal considers renting out Himalayas to private companies to sell tourist trips

Nepal's most famous Himalayan peaks could soon be leased out to private companies to sell holidays to tourists. The move aims to capitalize on Nepal's biggest tourist draws, while also combating overcrowding problems on Everest.

Mohan Krishna Sapkota, spokesman for the tourism ministry, said: 'We have begun discussion on leasing unclimbed peaks to the private sector, to promote these mountains as new tourism products.
'We are open to both Nepalese and foreign private companies, we are confident that if the plan goes ahead, it will generate revenues for Nepal.'

The country is also considering lowering mountaineering fees to attract more trekkers to the region.
The government has not confirmed when it would implement the proposal, as the finance and tourism ministries are still discussing the number of peaks that could be included and the length of leases.
The proposal would need to get the green light from the Cabinet before it is implemented.

The Nepal Mountaineering Association, which represents tourism promoters, has welcomed the proposal, saying it is a 'very good step'. NMA President  Ang Tshering Sherpa said: 'The private sectors can sell tourism products better as they have good networks worldwide.'

Everest, scaled for the first time by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, is a key revenue-earner for the country, with hundreds heading there every year during the peak climbing season in April and May. Under the new rules Everest expeditions will have to take their trash to an office which will be set up next month at base camp. Last year, more than 500 climbers reached the summit of Everest and there were lengthy delays as 150 people ascended the final 915 metres within hours of each other on May 19.

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Bisket Jatra kicks off amid tight security in Bhaktapur

The first day of Bisket Jatra, the biggest festival of Bhaktapur, concluded today after locals pulled a three-storey chariot of Bhairav from Taumadhi-based Bhairavnath temple to Gahiti. The distance between Taumadhi and Gahiti is about 200 metres.

In the wake of clashes and unpleasant incidents during previous years’ celebrations, the Metropolitan Police Circle, in association with Bhaktapur Guthi Sansthan and local clubs, had stepped up security measures for the festival.

More than 800 security forces belonging to Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force have been mobilized to the core areas of Bhaktapur to prevent any untoward incident. Likewise, surveillance cameras have been installed to keep tab on revelers on the route of chariot. Police have warned that any person found indulging in drunken brawl and hooliganism would be arrested on the spot and charged with public offences.

They have distributed volunteers’ ID cards to around 500 persons affiliated to local clubs to check upon people trying to climb the chariot. Sale and distribution of liquor has been banned in the areas where the chariot is pulled through.

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Gokarna Forest Resort saving Rs 7.41m annually by adopting green technology

Gokarna Forest Resort has been saving Rs 7.41 million annually by implementing energy and water saving measures.

The resort has invested Rs 25 million for efficient technology funded by Clean Energy Development Bank (CEDB). It has implemented a range of environment-led initiatives, including an integrated thermal system, energy-efficient lighting, and improved water management practices to save the energy cost by about one third.

The project, which is advised by International Finance Corporation (IFC), is the first of its kind in the country, according to Barsha Shrestha, deputy CEO of CEDB.

Issuing a statement, IFC said the successful use of key industry best practices reduced energy costs by 34 percent, and resulted in annual savings of $75,000 (Rs 7.41 million).

Shrestha said the payback period of the project is only of four years.

Nepal´s industrial growth is heavily dependent on petroleum imports. The South Asia Enterprise Development Facility, managed by IFC in partnership with the UK Department for International Development and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, is helping CEDB build capacity and launch financial products for clean, resource-efficient projects.

“Innovative, energy-driven financial products can support the local industry transition to sustainable energy practices and lower operation costs,” the IFC statement added.

Speaking at a program organized at the resort on Sunday, Kyle F Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager, said projects like Gokarna can help Nepal realize its true potential in energy efficiency. “Innovative financing is key to enable local industry realize the benefits of sustainable energy practices and minimize dependence on expensive energy imports,” he added.

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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.