Monday, January 12, 2009

Nepal pavilion awarded 'Best Stall Decoration Award at TTF Chennai

Nepal pavilion awarded 'Best Stall Decoration Award at TTF Chennai
Press Release
12 January 2009

Nepal Tourism Board along with 6 travel trade companies participated in Travel & Tourism Fair (TTF) from 9th-11th January 2009 in Southern city of India, Chennai. As a part of annual marketing activities in Indian market NTB has showcased Nepalese tourism attraction amidst the travel trade and visitors. During the fair, Nepal was highlighted as the land of Gods and gateway to Mt. Kailash, abode of lord Shiva. Likewise, Nepal showcased the various other tourism attractions and activities of Nepal. Nepal's initiative to attract more tourists to Nepal, 'Nepal Tourism Year 2011' was also highlighted in the fair. Mr. Mani Raj Lamichhane, Manager Nepal Tourism Board had also briefed the media and tour operators about the tourism scenario and major tourism attractions during the inauguration ceremony. Nepal pavilion was main attraction during the fair due to unique decorations used depicting cultural and natural attractions. Nepal pavilion was awarded by best decoration award and private trekking company 'Eco Trek Nepal' had won best print material award. The daily newspaper 'The Hindu' had given special coverage on Nepal pavilion.

Though there are several flights in Delhi-Kathmandu sector, the issue of direct connectivity between South Indian city and Kathmandu was raised by tour operators and media. They have opined that have there been direct flights from South Indian city, the number of visitors would have been increased. As the adjoining other cities are well linked by roadways and railways, more people can travel to Nepal if there is good air connectivity. Similarly, visitors have suggested to reduce the amount of special permit fee to go to Damodar Kunda.

Visitor Arrivals in December 2008 (by air only) January 1, 2009

Visitor Arrivals in December 2008 (by air only) January 1, 2009
News Release

The total number of visitors in 2008 has reached to 374,661, representing an increase of 4% in comparison to the year 2007. The figures released by Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) reveal that arrival figures in the month of December 2008, compared to the same month last year, have increased by 0.6% to 30,062.

The entire South Asian region has gained overall positive growth except for arrivals from Sri Lanka. Bangladesh and Pakistan have registered robust growth of 37 % and 23.4% respectively. India, the largest market for Nepal, witnessed positive growth of 1.9% in December.

As compare to 2007, the total visitor arrivals from South Asian countries registered positive growth except India.

European countries such as UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden have also maintained the increasing trend in the arrival figures in the month of December 2008, compared to the same month last year. Also UK, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, France and Denmark have registered positive growth in total comparison to the year 2007. Arrivals from the United States of America, Australia and Canada have also increased in December in comparison to the same month last year. Similarly total arrivals in 2008 from the United States of America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have also increased in comparison to 2007. However France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland have registered negative growth in the current month.

Other Asian countries do not show healthy trend. Malaysia has maintained the upward trend with 21.9% of growth. Arrivals from China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, witnessed negative growth in the arrival figures by 25.9%, 3.6%, 2.8% and 9.5% respectively in the month of December. Arrival figures for year 2008 show upward trend.

A total of 33,554 foreign tourists departed from TIA in December 2008 while the total number of international visitor departure till December 2008 reached 405,223, representing an increase of 11.24% over 2007. The number of Nepalese arrivals stood at 41,333 while 48,982 Nepalese departed from TIA in December 2008.

Since August as global economy faced meltdown following the hike in oil prices and the consequent cuts in airline capacity and increasing transport cost travelers trim down their length of stay and their consumption in terms of type of accommodation and other activities. Against continuing downward revisions in macro-economic expectations overall 4% growth in international tourist arrivals in 2008 as compared for the full of 2007 can be considered as healthy increment.

Commission on Yeti Airlines crash at Lukla submits report Press Release

Commission on Yeti Airlines crash at Lukla submits report Press Release
January 1, 2009

The Commission constituted by Government of Nepal for the Aircraft Accident Investigation of Yeti Airlines Flight YT-101 which crashed in Tenzing Hillary Airport, Lukla on October 8, 2008 submitted its report to Hon'ble Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Ms. Hisila Yami on December 31, 2008. The Twin-otter aircraft belonged to Yeti Airlines was crashed at the perimeter of Lukla runway while attempting to land in deteriorating weather condition which killed 18-people including 14 Germans and 2 Australians tourists.

According to Commission report, "The probable primary cause was flight crew's misjudgment, based on the weather information from all the proceeding aircraft and Lukla Information, to enter into cloud patch on final wherein the aircraft encountered the rapidly uplifting fog on short final resulting on Control Flight Into Terrain(CFIT)." The formal investigation commenced on 10th October, 2008 following a meeting of the Commission. Experts were nominated by Germany and Australia(States of Victims).

On November 7, 2008, a record breaking 100 flights were made from Kathmandu to Lukla Tenzing Hillary Airport, according to Tribhuwan International Airport Authority. This new record is the for the first time in the aviation history and also marks the great flow of tourists in the Everest region this year compared to any other years by air.

Minister Yami takes part in CAAN's Walk-A-Thon Press Release

Minister Yami takes part in CAAN's Walk-A-Thon Press Release
December 29, 2008

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Ms. Hisila Yami took part in 'Walk-A-Thon' programme organized by Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal(CAAN) from its headquarters Babar Mahal to Civil Aviation Academy, Sinamangal on December 29, 2008 as a part of celebrating its 10th anniversary. Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Other senior officials of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal including Mr. Keshav Khanal, Director General, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal also took part in 3-km long walk displaying the placard related to safety and security of civil Aviation.

Walk-A-Thon is a part of creating awareness of safety and comfort of air travelers. On Dec 28, it also organized blood donation programme. Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) was established as an autonomous regulatory body on 31 December 1998 under Civil Aviation Act, 1996. CAAN has been set up with the objective of making aviation safe, regular, standard and efficient. Its prime goal is to ensure flight safety and sustainability of civil aviation.

Interaction of tourism development and promotion in Pokhara

Interaction of tourism development and promotion in Pokhara
Press Release
December 23, 2008

An interaction programme was organised at Nepal Tourism Board Office in Pokhara on December 22 & 23, 2008 to discuss various issues related with on development and promotion of tourism and civil aviation in Pokhara and its surrounding. Organised by Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal Tourism Board and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the programme was attended prominent tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara and its surrounding areas, tourism and civil aviation experts, high government officials and other stakeholders.

Addressing the programme, Hon'ble Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Ms. Hisila Yami said she was here to do feasible study of regional airport in Pokhara which would connect Pokhara with other Indian cities. "As a commitment of government for the development of tourism, the government has already allocated Rs. 280 million for the tourism infrastructure. Homework has already been started to address the issues raised in this interaction," she said. She further elaborated about Nepal Visit Year 2011 and asked all stakeholders to join hand together to make it successful. She also informed about the New Tourism Policy which being in the final stage.

Responding the various issues raised during the interaction, tourism experts, government officials suggested following way out to mitigate the problems and suggestion for successful planning and implementation of Nepal Tourism Year 2011:

1. To make Nepal Tourism Year 2011 successful, it has been requested to Pokhara Tourism Council to take lead in coordination with Nepal Tourism Board Office Pokhara and various stakeholders to form different sub committee for tourism product development, tourism publicity and marketing, human resource and others. Within three years, Pokhara will be developed and promoted as adventure, holiday, pilgrimage and aviation sports hub.
2. To run shuttle bus during the bandh or chakkajam in Pokhra, Nepal Tourism Board is agreed to run the bus in coordination with Tourism Police on basis of 50% cost share with concerned party.
3. Request has been made to local community to take initiative to declare Pokhara 'Bandha Free Zone'. 4. In regard to allow Nepalese tourists to travel in tourist plated vehicles (green plate), Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation will coordinate with other lining ministry to make necessary change in the Transport Act.
5. Request has been made to REBAN Pokhara Chapter to make promotional announcement about Nepal Tourism Year 2011 at the mid-night of December 31, 2008 during Pokhara Street Festival.
6. Adhering the principle of decentralisation, Nepal Tourism Board Pokhara Office has upgraded as Regional Office for the tourism development and promotion of Pokhara and its surrounding areas.
7. Pokhara will be considered as domestic air hub linking with other small airports in Western and Far Western Region.
8. Nepal Tourism Board will support events and festivals as promoter.
9. Initiative will be taken for the improvement of trekking trails and finding out alternative trekking trails in coordination with local stakeholder.
10. For conservation and promotion of lake as a tourist attraction, Lake Conservation Board has already been institutionalised.
11. Initiation will be taken to build new airport in new place as an International Regional Airport in partnership with private sector under the Build Operate Own Transfer (BOOT) model.

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