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Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board

In this Issue :

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NTB eyes historic palaces, ponds for tourism sites
Nepal to ease traffic on Mount Everest
Tourism supported 504k jobs in Nepal in 2013
Nepal for six more eight thousanders

NTB eyes historic palaces, ponds for tourism sites

The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) said that it would be transcending its traditional role of promoting and marketing Nepal by formulating a five-year tourism plan. 

Among the different proposed projects, it is considering taking over palaces and residences of historical importance, particularly those illustrating the decadence of the Rana regime, and lease them out to private companies in a bid to promote tourism.

NTB said on Sunday that it would soon be launching the tourism plan under which it proposes to convert isolated and abandoned heritage buildings into commercially viable tourism products.

“Historically important palaces like Rani Mahal in Palpa, Ratna Mandir in Pokhara and Diyalo Bungalow in Bharatpur, which are owned by the government, will be opened to tourism for the development of Nepal’s tourism industry”, said Subash Nirola, Officiating Chief Executive officer of the NTB, speaking at an interaction with tourism stakeholders on Sunday.

In addition, the NTB plans to utilize land owned by the government to build an international standard conference centre to promote MICE tourism. Similarly, wetlands across the country will be used as tourism products, and the NTB has taken the necessary steps in this regard, he said.

“We have requested the government to transfer the ownership of Kamal Pokhari and Rani Pokhari, which are of great historical and cultural importance, to NTB which could be potential products to promote Nepal’s tourism. The NTB will inject funds for the conservation and preservation of these ponds which are in a dire state at present.” 

There are several historic buildings in Kathmandu and elsewhere in the country, and they can be key tourist attractions if they are properly promoted and marketed, he said.  For example, restored palaces like Baber Mahal Revisited, Hotel Shanker and Garden of Dreams, among others, have become popular among visitors, and this success can be replicated in other historic buildings that are isolated due to lack of resources.

“We have plenty of resources but limited programs,” said Nirola. The board said that it plans to utilize 60 percent of its budget for the promotion of Nepal in the global arena and the rest on domestic tourism promotion and its administration costs. The board said that its promotion would be focused on the two next-door neighbors India and China while it would be promoting Nepal through international channels like BBC, CNN, National Geographic and European television as part of its promotional strategy.

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Nepal to ease traffic on Mount Everest

Nepal plans to minimize the congestion of climbers near the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit of Mount Everest , which is attempted by scores of climbers during the short window of good weather, officials said Monday.

One of the initiatives includes the introduction of separate fixed ropes for climbers ascending and descending near the summit to help ease the traffic, said Tourism Ministry official Mohan Krishna Sapkota.

A team of government officials will be posted at the base camp located at 5,300 meters (17,380 feet) throughout the spring climbing season to monitor climbers and coordinate with expedition leaders, he said.

A nine-member government team will set up its own tent at the base camp to report on the activities there, provide help when needed and ensure that climbers are cleaning up behind them.

Sapkota said the plan is to manage the flow of climbers working with expedition teams during the two or three opportunities in May when the weather is favorable for the climb above the South Col at 8,000 meters (26,240 feet).

The separate ropes would allow the climbers returning from the summit to quickly get back to lower grounds to rest while they would not be blocking fellow climbers on the way to the summit.

More than 800 climbers attempted to scale Everest during the 2013 spring season and the number is expected to be similar this year too, according to the Mountaineering Department.

More than 4,000 climbers have scaled the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit since 1953, when it was first conquered by New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay.

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Tourism supported 504k jobs in Nepal in 2013

Nepal’s travel and tourism sector directly supported 504,000 jobs in 2013. The figure represents 3.2 percent of the total employment in the country, and this share is expected to rise by 6.4 percent in 2014, according to the Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2013 report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) on Wednesday.

Tourism supported jobs include employment by hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services and also the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists.

In terms of absolute contribution in job creation by the travel and tourism sector, Nepal is ranked 30th among 184 countries. Among South Asian countries, India and Bangladesh ranked 2nd and 12th respectively. 

The London-based council said in its annual report that Nepal received 796,000 visitors in 2013 and generated US$ 0.42 billion (Rs 39.1 billion) in revenue, which is 21.1 percent of total exports. The country is expected to attract 861,000 international tourist arrivals in 2014, and the income from tourists is expected to rise by 11.9 percent in the same year.

On the investment front, Nepal is expected to have attracted capital investment of Rs 14.6 billion in 2013, and investment in the sector is expected to grow by 2.7 percent this year. Investment in the travel and tourism sector in 2012 amounted to Rs 12.5 billion, or 4.1 percent of the total investment.

 The report shows that in 2013, the total contribution of travel and tourism to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was US$ 1.6 billion (Rs 145.3 billion), which is 8.2 percent of the total GDP. The direct contribution of tourism to GDP was US$ 0.7 billion (Rs 68.8 billion) or 3.9 percent of the total GDP. Leisure travel spending (inbound and domestic) generated 86.2 percent of direct tourism GDP (Rs 95 billion) last year, compared with 13.8 percent (Rs 15.3 billion) for business travel spending.

Business travel spending is expected to grow by 15.7 percent this year to Rs 17.6 billion while leisure travel spending is expected to grow by 8.9 percent to Rs 103.5 billion this year, according to the report. Domestic travel spending generated 64.5 percent of direct travel and tourism GDP in 2013 compared with 35.5 percent for foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts. Domestic travel spending is expected to grow by 8.7 percent in 2014 to Rs 77.3 billion.

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Nepal for six more eight thousanders

The Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) will ask for recognition of six more Eight-Thousanders in Nepal at the meeting of the Himalaya host countries this April. Last October, the NMA had submitted a similar proposal to the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation which has not reached a decision. The six peaks for which separate Eight-Thousander status is being sought are Yalung Khang, West Yalung Khang, Kanchanjunga Central, Kanchanjunga South, Lhotse Middle and Lhotse Shar. They all lie on the Nepal-India and Nepal-China borders. There are 14 peaks above 8,000 m in the world, all of them in Asia. Among them, eight lie in Nepal—Everest (8,848 m), Kanchanjunga (8,586 m), Lhotse (8,516 m), Makalu (8,463 m), Cho Oyu (8,201 m), Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Manaslu (8,163 m) and Annapurna I (8,091 m).

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Photo of the week
Certificate of Appreciation to Nepal Tourism Board from WWF

Upcoming Events

6th National Tourism Fair 2014

Date: May 2nd- 4th, 2014
Venue: Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu

Ghode Jatra

Date: Mar 30, 2014
Venue: All Over In Nepal



Photo Feature

Interaction on Five-Year Plan of Nepal Tourism Board

Editor: Sarad Pradhan
Asst. Editor: Sudhan Subedi
Media Center | Nepal Tourism Board
Tourist Service Center, P.O. Box : 11018
Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu, Nepal
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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.