Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dolpa - At A Glance !

Dolpa - At A Glance !

The district lies completely on the trans-Himalayan region of Nepal and borders Mustang on the east, Myagdi, Rukum and Jajarkot in the south and Jumla and Mugu districts on the west, and the Tibet region of China on the north.
The district spans an altitudinal range of over 5,000 meters from a little over 1,500 meters at Tribeni in Kalika VDC to 7,381 meters at the summit of Churen Himal. Kanjiroba (6221m), Mukot (6638m) and Putha Hiunchuli (7246m) are other noted peaks. Physiographically the lesser ranges of the Great Himalayas constitute the southern border of the district. Between these and the border mountain ranges of Gautam Himal and Kanti Himal to the north Dolpa district is a maze of often wide glacial valleys and ridges. Kanjiroba Himal and Kagmara Lekh running north-west to south-east separate the valleys of the Jagdula in the west with the rest of the district.

Area: 7889 sq. km.

District Headquarters: Dunai

Population: 29545

Ethnicity: Hindu 60%, Buddhist 40% (including 5.5% ancient Bonpo Religion)

Altitude: 1525m from sea level upto 7754m variation

Climate: Himalayan; above the snow line, Alpine; found in Bhot region and high
mountain in the south; Cold temperature between 7000 and 13000 feet and sub temperate climate below 7000 feet.

Religion: Buddhists, Hindu, Bon and Shamanistic

Language: Nepali, Dolpo (Analogous to Tibetan with native dialects), Kaike (indigenous to the Tichurong valley of Dolpa)

Economic Occupations: 79.5% agriculture, 2% service

Nepal Captured Central Stage in TTF Chennai

Nepal Captured Central Stage in TTF Chennai

Nepal's participation in TTF 2008, India's largest Travel and Tourism Fair, in Chennai, received very cheering response amongst Indian visitors. The Fair, held on 18-20 January 2008, registered more than 10000 general visitors and about 650 travel trade.

Like TTF in Banglore, Nepal was projected as a partner country in Chennai too. With the participation of 8 Travel companies, Nepal was center of attraction in the Fair. Visitors had interestingly inquired the pilgrimage packages of Muktinath, Pashupatiunath, and Mt. Kailash and other soft adventure, leisure, and honeymoon offers. The local media were also briefed about special attractions of Nepalese Tourism and safety and security situation in Nepal by NTB Officials.

The fair was inaugurated on 18 January 2007 at Raja Muthiah and Rani Meyyammai Halls in the presence of Sr. Rajaram, Director Tourism of Tamilnadu .

TTF had provided a single roof opportunity to the visitors to make their travel plans, with options to gather information on various national and international destinations, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, adventure attractions, pilgrimage tours etc. A total of 140 inter/national exhibitors had showcased and sold their travel offers. With showcasing national and international destinations and giving a platform for customized packages on offer, TTF now is the largest Travel and Tourism fair of India.

Nepal's first time participation in Nordic Travel Fair MATKA 2008

Nepal's first time participation in Nordic Travel Fair MATKA 2008

Nepal Tourism Board along with four Nepalese private travel companies namely Mountain Adventure Trekking, Snowland Travel and Tours, Makalu Adventure and Sahara Worldwide Travels and Tours actively participated for the first time in Nordic Travel Fair Matka 2008, the biggest travel event in Nordic and Baltic region, held from January 17 to 20, 2008 in Helsinki, Finland.

Inaugurated by Dr. Paavo Vayrynen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Government of Finland, the fair had good response from the tour operators and professionals on the first day specially those from nearby Estonia and St. Petersberg. The next three days were aimed at consumers, considering the trend of the Finnish travelers who normally shop around for the holiday destinations during winter. There were 1,100 exhibitors from 77 countries occupying the space of 16,000 sq. meters. Visited by 9178 tour operators and 85000 consumers, the fair showed an encouraging prospect of Nepalese tourism in Finnish as well as North European market.

A long feature article on Himalayas of Nepal and cultural heritage in the MATKA issue of Panorama magazine, written and edited by Mr. Reijo Harkonen, Honorary PRR for NTB, fetched good interest from quite a number of visitors in the Fair. In addition to that, another beautiful article published in "Helsingin Sanomat"- popular daily newspaper with the circulation of 450,000 - on the third day of the fair, January 19, 2008 about Annapurna trekking made the visitors even more curious about Nepal in general and trekking in particular. Inquiries about Nepal by the visitors were tremendous. According to the response of the visitors, they seemed more interested in trekking. Yet, other natural and cultural products have not lost any charm among the Finnish people.

There are more than 10 Nepalese Restaurants, very much well known among the locals, in Helsinki. Their observation about the Finnish people's interest about Nepal shows a great hope and prospect of the growth of Nepalese tourism in Finland. In fact, they can be very good platforms to increase the awareness about Nepal's diverse tourism attractions. The active Nepali diaspora in Finland have played a significant role in generating public awareness about Nepal and cultivating interests in them to visit Nepal.

Finland's national carrier Finn Air has published special fares for Helsinki/Delhi & Helsinki/Mumbai sectors for MATKA 2008 making it "Fast & Easy" travel to Nepal as well. Very soon they are going to come out with a special Pro Rata basis fare for Helsinki/KTM via Delhi. This definitely is a positive sign that supports NTB's first ever participation in Finland along with the Nepalese travel trade.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nepal also take participate in TTF (Travel Tourism Fare)

Nepal also take participate in TTF (Travel Tourism Fare)

Chennai, Jan. 18 The Fairfest Media Limited today launched the 60th Travel and Tourism Fair (TTF)--'TTF Chennai 2008'-- in the city to provide 'single roof' opportunity to make travel plans across the globe.

Talking to newspersons here, Fairfest Media Limited Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Agarwal said "the three-day event will also provide the people with options to gather information on various national and international destinations, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, adventure tourism, theme parks, tour operators, travel agents, finance, insurance, airlines and railways and make bookings on the spot".

"It will also help prospective business and leisure travelers to discuss and finalise customised plans, tailored to suit their budget and individual needs and interests," he added.

He said the event would also provide an opportunity for the travel trade visitors from the city and the state to meet and do business with over 140 exhibitors from India and abroad.

TTF had participation from six countries, including partner country Nepal, feature countries such as Egypt, Malaysia and Hong Kong, also including Dubai and Thailand as the other participants. Most of the state government departments were participating along with private sector hoteliers and operators from their respective states.

Mr Agarwal pointed out that among the new additions in the TTF was the first time participation by Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra.

"TTF 2008 Chennai is about 20 per cent bigger than last year in terms of exhibition space and the number of exhibitors," he said, adding "about 1,000 travel trade and 10,000 general visitors are expected to visit the exhibition."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Air Arabia sets up new hub in Nepal

Air Arabia sets up new hub in Nepal

Air Arabia, a major low-cost carrier (LCC), will establish a new hub in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.

The new hub will provide the Sharjah-based LCC with a platform from which to serve markets stretching across South and Central Asia, the Far East, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent, it said.

This announcement follows the signing of a joint venture agreement between Air Arabia and Y
eti Airlines, the market leader in domestic air travel in Nepal and approval from Nepal Government’s Department of Industries (DOI).

Under the terms of the agreement, Air Arabia and Yeti Airlines will jointly establish a new low-cost carrier, based in Kathmandu that will provide affordable and convenient service to a broad range of international destinations.

Air Arabia, a major shareholder in the new company, will apply its successful low-cost business model to the management of Nepal’s first international LCC. The new carrier is expected to begin operations with Inaugural flight taking off to Sharjah before the end of this month (January 2008), followed by operations to selected destinations in India as well as to Doha and Kuala Lampur in Malaysia.

“This is an enormously significant agreement for Air Arabia, and an extremely timely one,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia.

“As we set our sights on global expansion, we remain focused on youthful, fast-growing markets where the opportunities for growth are greatest. Nepal, with a population of 29 million and a median age of just 20, is clearly among them. In this regard, we are especially pleased to join efforts with Yeti Airlines, which has nearly a decade of experience serving this market and unmatched management expertise.

“With this new hub in Nepal, Air Arabia will cover a new niche market, while continuing to offer the level of superior service that has made us one of the premier airlines in the Middle East,” he added. “From Sharjah to Kathmandu, Air Arabia offers unmatched reach, and is now positioned to become one of the leading low-cost carriers in the world. – TradeArabia News Service

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Sindhuli Festival
Date: 9-15 Jan, 08
Venue: Sindhulimadi, Sindhuli
Organizer: Sindhuli Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Contact: 977-47-520609

Barun Festival
Date: 13-15 Jan, 08
Venue: Hatiya, Sankhuwasabha
Organizer: District Development Committee, Sankhuwasabha
Contact: 977-29-560144

Industrial Exhibition & Tourism Festival
Date: 27 Dec 07-6 Jan 08
Venue: Butwal
Organizer: Rupandehi Industry Association
Contact: 977-71-540046
Website: www.rianepal.org.np

Gorkha Festival
Date: 4-8 Jan, 08
Venue: Gorkha
Organizer: Gorkha Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Contact: 977-64-420156

Ratnanagar Festival
Date: 11-19 Jan, 08
Venue: Ratnanagar, Chitwan
Organizer: Ratnanagar Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Contact: 977-56-560448
Website: www.rcci.org.np

Tharu Maghi Festival
Date: 15 Jan, 08
Venue: Terai Region of Nepal
Organizer: Tharu Community

Makar Sankranti Utsav
Date: 15 Jan, 08
Venue: Baidhyanathkshetra, Achham
Organizer: Baidhyanathkshetra Bikas Sastha, Achham

Ruru Festival
Date: 15-21 Jan, 08
Venue: Ridibazar, Gulmi
Organizer: Ruru Friends Club, Ridi, Gulmi

Paragliding Championship
Date: 19-21 Jan, 08
Venue: Pokhara
Organizer: Trekking Agents Association of Nepal-Western Regional Chapter
Contact: 977-61-527033

Urlabari Festival
Date: 23 Jan-2 Feb, 08
Venue: Urlabari, Morang
Organizer: Urlabari Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Banke Festival
Date: 25 Jan-3 Feb, 08
Venue: Nepalgunj
Organizer: Nepalgunj Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Contact: 977-81-520365

Tourists increased by 43.26% in Lumbini

Tourists increased by 43.26% in Lumbini

Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, UNESCO World Heritage Site presently has been better exposed to the global people. The number of tourists has increased in Lumbini in the year 2007. The tourist arrival data of the Information Centre, Lumbini Development Trust shows that the tourists have been increased by 43.26 % in this year. The total number of tourists' was 49595 in 2006. It has increases to 71053 in 2007 except Nepalese and Indian Nationals. Tourists and pilgrims from 85 countries have visited Lumbini last year. The tentative data shows approx: 400000 tourists from Nepal and India visited Lumbini in 2007. The main reasons for inspiring growth in 2007 in tourists arrivals in Lumbini is because of peace process, political stability, the rapid development of Lumbini master plan project components and promotional activities of Lumbini.

Sri-Lankan pilgrims topped the highest number of visitors to Lumbini in the year 2007, counting 30375. Visitors from Thailand, South Korea, Myanmar, Japan and China are 12880, 5219, 3641, 2681 and 2175 respectively. Visitors from new 9 countries like Macedonia, Peru, Laos, Guatemala, Brunei, Bosnia etc. has also visited Lumbini in the year 2007. There is a great charm of religious and spiritual tourism in the recent days.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Orient Thai flies in Nepali sky

Orient Thai flies in Nepali sky

Orient Thai Airlines, a Thai budget airline company, began thrice-a-week flights between Bangkok and Kathmandu from December 29, 2007, becoming the ninth airline to fly in Nepal's sky in the last 14 months. The flights are operated with 170-seater MD-82 aircraft.

The number of airlines offering services to Nepal has doubled during this period, while several more added frequency.

With peace returning to Nepal, vacationers are flocking in and foreign airlines are flying high.

Experts urge integrated tourism promotion

Experts urge integrated tourism promotion

Tourism experts and entrepreneurs underscored the need of a well-planned and integrated promotional campaign to lure more tourists.

They also stressed on the need of a triangular partnership among the concerned stakeholders including government, private sector and common people in order to make such a campaign successful and have tangible impact on socio-economic development endeavours, reports the Himalayan Times.

Citing tourism as an ever changing and never-ending phenomenon, they noted that benefits of the industry should be proportionately re-distributed.

They were speaking at a seminar on ‘A million tourists: opportunities and challenges ahead’ jointly organised by Society of Economic Journalists of Nepal (SEJON) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), on December 30, 2007 commemorating NTB entering into 10th year.

“Tourism is a causative factor or catalyst for overall development, which requires facelift or dress up time to time,” Karna Shakya, a noted tourism expert and entrepreneur, said adding that the proposed event could freshen up image and boost up tourists confidence.

He further stressed on the need of innovation, product and destination diversification as well as coming up from conventional trend to cater diverse and changing needs in travel-tourism trade. “Tourism is not simply a trade. It is also a science of understanding human psychology,” Shakya added.

He urged the concerned stakeholders to converge in teamwork culture to ensure that tourism industry is a hassle-free sector. Shakya was of the opinion for the promotion of new and innovative products like endemic tourism, destination specific products and serves.

“Nepal holds tremendous potentials. So far we have used a small chunk of them,” he said. Former tourism secretary Dipendra Purush Dhakal also noted that the time has come for Nepal to launch a kind of promotional campaign to tap from the current growth in travel trade industry.

“Nepal needs to diversify tourism products and destination with a constant focus of developing rural tourism,” he said.

Dhakal urged for waiving restriction in controlled trekking areas and implementing self-regulating code of conduct for entrepreneurs.

Lila Mani Poudel, tourism secretary, informed that new initiatives for formulating new tourism policy and master plan and infrastructure development are underway to cater growing tourism prospects.

He said that exercises to launch a promotional campaign like Visit Nepal Year or similar is being carried out and will be formally announced after discussion with stakeholders. Poudel further said that new policies would be tied up with action plan and resources in order to yield better results.

“The proposed campaign would encompass social marketing strategies ensuring proportionate benefits of the industry to grassroots levels and other contributors,” he said. Explaining successes achieved and challenges faced by the industry, Prachanda Man Shrestha, CEO at the NTB, said the new areas and tourism products introduced in recent times have helped to bring the marginalised people into the mainstream and supported their livelihood.

He urged the private entrepreneurs to rise above petty sub-sectoral interest conflict. Ram Kaji Koney, president Nepal Association of Travel and Tour Agents (NATTA) and Bikram Pandey, president of Adventure Sports Tourism Society, also shared their views on prospect of tourism and need for diversification of products and services.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Website of Send home a Friend launched

Website of Send home a Friend launched

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Prithvi Subba Gurung formally launched the website and logo of "Send Home a Friend and Nepal for all Seasons " campaign: www.sendhomeafriend.com on December 31, 2007 at Nepal Tourism Board in a function organised to celebrate the 9th anniversary of Nepal Tourism Board.

The campaign is being launched to cater the growing Nepali Diaspora scattered all over the world encouraging them to send a friend to Nepal to promote Nepal's tourism. Addressing the function, Minister expressed his hope that it would be fruitful for Nepal's tourism. Although the campaign was announced in this fiscal year's budget, it began from London on November 17. NTB plans to promote the campaigns along with NRNs in Germany, US and Japan soon.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Aviation Mr. Prithvi Subba Gurung handing over the Best Employee of the Year to Mr. Samir Bajracharya, Senior Officer of NTB on the occasion of NTB's 9th Anniversary on December 31, 2007.

In his remarks, Secretary of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and Chairman of Mr. Leela Mani Poudel stressed the need of cooperation between Nepal Tourism Board and private sector to produce better result. He also urged NTB staff to use their optimum capability for the benefit of larger section of tourism industry.Vice Chairman of Nepal Tourism Board Mr. Rajesh Babu Shrestha also outlined the need of cooperation from private sector to bolster the image of Nepal Tourism Board.

In his speech Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board Mr. Prachanda Man Shrestha said, "Now, what we need is effective work plan, dedication and mutual cooperation within and outside the organization. Product diversification, new concept and strategies for marketing and promotion, proper human and other resource management are key issues for all which need to be addressed and properly aligned to the needs of our tourism industry."

On the occasion Minister Gurung awarded Mr. Samir Bajracharya, Senior Officer of Nepal Tourism Board as Best Employee of the Year. He also released the In Focus published on the occasion of 9th Anniversary of NTB.

Visitors Arrival in 2007 shows 27.1% growth

Visitors Arrival in 2007 shows 27.1% growth

The visitors to Nepal by air has been recorded 27.1% growth over 2006 with the arrival figure reaching 360,350 all time high since 2000 against 283,516 in 2006. In 2000, the number of visitors arriving Nepal by air was 376914. Since then, it has continued to plummet due to various socio -political reasons. One of the main reasons for inspiring growth in 2007 in tourist arrivals is the ongoing peace process and political stability in the county.

Another reason is the good air connectivity with many destinations ushered in by the operation of 9 new international airlines to Nepal in 2007. 2008 seems to be very promising year for Nepalese travel trade as more new airlines are coming and existing airlines are also extending their flight frequency to Nepal

December 2007 registered a growth of 13 % in the international visitor's arrival to Nepal by air route. The total visitor arrivals reached 29895, up by 3433 compared to the same month last year, according to the data released by Immigration Office Tribhuvan International Airport. A growth of 25 % has been recorded in the visitor arrivals from Europe, US and other non-Indian Asian tourist generating countries while Indian arrivals has been fallen down by 8.5% during this month.

The key contributors to the arrivals from Asian market were China and Singapore which showed an exceptional growth during this month with gains of 114.6 %, 92 % respectively. The East Asian markets Japan (-12.3%), S. Korea (-9.4%) Malaysia (-22.9 %), however showed some decline.

The European markets have too recorded an encouraging growth (19.8%) during the month with arrival numbers increasing from almost all the markets excepting a few. Growth was observed from Switzerland ( 97.8%). UK (21%), France (33.4%), Belgium (56.1%) ,Denmark (34.5%) Spain (41.9%) and Germany (19.6%),. The Dutch arrivals have too increased by 26.7%. The only markets to come down were Austria (-22.2 %), Israel (-8.1%) and Italy (-4.2%).

The Americans market has too registered a growth of 33.7% while Australian arrivals have gone up extremely well up by 41.4%.

The total non-Indian visitors, which contributed 70.1%, share in overall December arrivals registering a 25 % growth indicates the growing consumer confidence and interest towards Nepal from the long haul markets.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

What might be different in 2008?

What might be different in 2008?

A Common question arise in all Nepali mind, Will 2008 be any Different?? What might be the benefit on 2008 for Nepal and Nepali?

Post your Comment?? What you anticipate in 2008? What might need to Happen on 2008? What should he deducts on 2008? this Common question Valuable readers can share with Nepal Information admin.

Everest flight by air - Joyful flying in Nepal

Everest flight by air - Joyful flying in Nepal

As Nepal’s tourism bounces back, the sector that has benefited the most is domestic aviation.

There aren’t enough planes, or enough hours in the day, to take tourists on an aerial sight-seeing trip to Chomolungma. On 31 August this year, airlines set a record with 31 mountain flights by Buddha Air and 12 by Yeti Airlines. Right through the autumn season, the two airlines reaped a windfall of tourism traffic.

This is one of the few flights in the world that takes off and lands from the same airport and at $140 per passenger, the margins are high (Nepalis and Indians pay Rs 7,000).

But as winter sets in, tourist volumes drop and poor visibility at Kathmandu airport due to fog restricts the number of flights. One recent morning, the fog closed the airport after five mountain flights had already taken off. The planes were diverted to Simara, Pokhara and one to Bhairawa.

Early morning at Kathmandu airport looks like the deck of an aircraft carrier with a dozen twin turboprop planes lining up to take off. Captain Ang Ghelu Sherpa lines up his Beechcraft on the runway and guns the throttle. Soon we are taking a wide climbing turn over Kathmandu Valley. Ganesh, Langtang and Dorje Lakpa immediately swing into view.

In other airlines, flight attendants are usually busy with safety drills or handing out food and drinks, but on this flight, stewardess T W Lama looks more like a school teacher as she points out various mountains to passengers.

However many times one has been on a mountain flight, every trip is different. Since this was early morning, there wasn’t much turbulence over the mountains so Captain Sherpa was flying right past Numbur and as we banked, there was Lukla right below us with its inclined runway.

Through the tilted cockpit window, Chomolungma moved from left to right. We were so close, you could see the wavey yellow limestone band on the south face of Lhotse. On the return leg, the passengers on the righthand side got their chance. They see right into the arid pastel mountains of Tibet and magnificient border peaks like Melungtse and Sishapangma. Abreast of Gauri Shankhar, we begin our descent, but Captain Sherpa informs us that Kathmandu airport is closed due to poor visibility.

Usually, such an announcement from the cockpit would be met by a collective groan from passengers. But inside this plane, there was jubilation. As we circled over Kathmandu waiting for the fog to clear, passengers got an extra hour of mountain flight for free.

Below, the fog draped Kathmandu like a quilt. The Himalaya stretched on to the west towards Himalchuli, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. After finally getting his clearance, Captain Sherpa swooped down through the murky mist for a landing.

Was what we’d been through just a dream? Couldn’t be, there are photographs to prove we actually saw what we did.

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