Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board
February 14, 2014
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Govt unveils new mountaineering royalty fee structure
The government has reduced the royalty fee for foreigners climbing Mt Everest from the normal route, also known as the South East Ridge, to US$ 11,000 per person with effect from January1 2015. It has also eliminated the existing group royalty system.
Under the group royalty system, foreign climbers had to pay as high as $25,000. The government published the new royalty fee structure in the Gazette published on Wednesday.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), the government reduced the royalty fee based on the suggestion of a committee that it formed last year to recommend revision in mountaineering royalty fee.
Royalty fee for other mountains have also been lowered. Now onwards, foreign climbers need to pay royalty fee in range of $70 to $1,800 per person depending on the height of the mountains they are climbing.
“Individual climbers will benefit from the fresh revision as the individual royalty fee has come down drastically,” Madhu Sudan Burlakoti, joint secretary of MoCTCA, who heads the Tourism Industry Division (TID), told Republica.
Earlier, expedition teams were paying permit fee in the range of $15,000-$70,000 per expedition depending on the route and the number of members. A group could have a maximum of seven members and extra members were charged $10,000 each. Expedition to Mt Everest could have a maximum of 15 members.
“We decided to eliminate the group royalty system to control anomalies like merging different groups into a big group by expedition operators,” Mohan Krishna Sapkota, spokesperson of MoCTCA, said. “Though they apply as a group while seeking permit, they used to form separate groups before beginning their assault on the mountain.” He further added that the new system would benefit the individual climbers as well as the government.
Sapkota also said they were holding talks with the stakeholders to introduce a provision of ´one climber, one guide´ considering the safety of the climbers.
As per the new provision, Nepali climbers can pay permit fee in local currency. Earlier, they were required to pay in US dollar. Permit fee for Nepali climbers have been fixed between Rs 1,000 to Rs 75,000 per person depending on the height, route and the climbing season. They can also apply to the government for royalty waiver.
Earlier, Nepali climbers used to climb Mt Everest as mountain guides as the royalty fee was high. Also, they had to go through a lengthy procedure for royalty waiver. “The new royalty fee system will encourage more Nepalis to climb Mt Everest,” said Burlakoti. The new royalty fee structure for Nepali climbers will come into effect from Thursday.
Nepal participates TTF OTM Mumbai
Nepal successfully participated in TTF OTM MUMBAI, India's largest outbound travel and tourism fair, held in India from 7 to 9 February 2014. Attended by a huge number of exhibitors from all over the world, the fair saw a large influx of agents, operators and visitors inquiring vast arrays of products and services in the offing in tourist and holiday destinations.
Nepal Tourism Board participated in the fair bringing eleven Nepalese companies under its wings, which showcased varied products and packages featuring both established and emerging products. Nepal stall entertained tens of thousands of visitors and their queries on pilgrimage and holiday destinations in Nepal. Nepal continues to maintain its image and profile as a popular destination for Indians of all ages and strata of society.
US-Aussie couple ties knot the Tamang way
As soon as the sounds of the panche baaja, an ensemble of five traditional Nepali instruments that plays on auspicious occasions, reverberated in the locality, almost everyone in Lura village at district headquarters Salleri came together. They were about to attend a wedding with a difference.
The village folks were in a rush to get a glimpse the bride and the groom. The groom was in traditional Nepali attire of daura-suruwal and the bride was adorned in a red blouse and saree as they placed white tika marks on each other´s forehead.
The rituals, the attire and the marriage feast were all as per Tamang culture but the bride and groom were Australian and American respectively. That is why the locals were so curious. They left their household chores to attended the ceremony, and conferred the new couple with traditional gifts including home-made carpets, a metal urn and woven bamboo items.
The couple -- Brigitte Mure and Eric Renge -- have been involved in various social development activities in the district. Lakpa Tamang, who had proposed that the couple marry as per traditional local rites, had to work hard to make the event a success.
“They have contributed a lot in the socio-economic development of this place. And impressed by Nepali culture, they decided to marry in accordance with the traditions of the Tamang community,” said Tamang. Salleri locals were happy to see the two decked out as a Nepali bride and groom.
“I came here to see the foreigners marry the Nepali way after I heard about it on local FM radio,” said 75-year-old Mingmar Tamang. “I am really happy that foreigners are emulating our culture and traditions,” the elderly man added.
The bride, who was looking like a typical Tamang bride, extolled Nepali marriage traditions with an open heart. “We have to spend thousands of dollars [in the US and Australia] to organize a wedding and hundreds of relatives have to be invited. So, as we both like Nepali culture, we decided to tie the knot the traditional Nepali way,” she stated.
Walking to promote tourism
Nepal, rich in its culture and natural beauty, is one of the preferred destinations for many foreign tourists. Various efforts are being made by both the government and private sector for promotion of tourism in the country. And the latest to enter this league is Radisson Hotel.
As a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the hotel is organising Rad-a-thon 2014 on February 15 in association with Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). Details of the event were provided at a press meet organised by the hotel on February 12.
Rad-a-thon 2014 is a walkathon where around 600 participants comprising special invitees, guests from the hotel and NTB and the hotel staff will walk for a cause. The walkathon with the slogan ‘Tourism for Peace, People & Prosperity’ will start from hotel’s premises taking the route of Uttar Dhoka (Narayanhiti Palace), Dakshin Dhoka, Durbar Marg, Ghantaghar, Ratna Park, Bhadrakali, Sahid Gate, New Road, Nachghar, Keshar Mahal, Lainchour and ending at the hotel premises.
One can walk either just a kilometre or may finish the entire seven-km route. There will be a competition among the walkers — the top three fastest walkers will be awarded with a certificate and a medal each. Certificates will be given to all participants.
“We are organising this event to promote tourism in the country as tourism has a large role in the country’s economy. We want the tourists to return to their own country being fit rather than fat by participating in this event,” Anil Malik, General Manager of the hotel, expressed.