… it's all about tourism

Monthly Archives: January 2014

Kuoni logoKuoni – the Switzerland-based travel and destination management company — has started operations in Nepal.

SOTC – the outbound travel brand of Kuoni India – has appointed EZ Trip as its partner in Nepal.

Speaking at a press conference in Kathmandu on January 28, Daniel D´Souza, sales head of Kunoi-SOTC India, said Nepal is slowly turning as a good market for tour business. “As thousands of people are moving to outbound tours every year, we believe that the packages offered by us will be different as well as lucrative for our Nepali customers,” D´Souza said.

According to him, the company has initially introduced two separate outbound packages for Nepalis — 15-day Europe package and 16-day US package. “The Europe package includes trip to nine countries, while the US package includes trip to different states,” he added.

Announcing that the booking for the packages has already been opened, Sudesh GC, managing director of EZ Trip, said EZ Trip will offer one-night trip to Daman for those who book the company’s outbound tour packages.

Goma Air

Cessna Caravan aircraft of Goma Air. (file photo)

A team led by Bikas Rana — the president of Fishtail Air — has taken over the ownership of Goma Air.

Goma Air currently operates with two single engine nine-seater Cessna Grand Caravan 208B aircraft.

The team led by Rana purchased shares held by a group led by Upendra Prasad Bhattarai, the founding president of Goma Air, about a week ago.

Sources say the new management team will operate the airline with the same name and logo for the time being. However, it plans to rebrand the company in the near future. The sources also said Rana is for giving continuity to the existing management team at Goma Air. Continue reading


NTB Building (file photo)

The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) is doubling Tourism Service Fee (TSF) levied on foreigners departing from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to Rs 1,000 from March 1.

Issuing a press statement, NTB said the hike in TSF was necessary to meet the expectations of Nepali tourism industry and to cope with the paradigm shift in international tourism marketing and promotion.

So far, NTB was collecting Rs 500 per foreigner departing from TIA. The government had introduced TSF in 1999 to arrange fund for NTB´s promotional activities. During that time, NTB used to levy 2 percent service charge on different tourism services. The government changed the funding mechanism on January 14, 2005, allowing NTB to levy Rs 500 on all foreigners exiting from TIA.
NTB officials argue that price rise in the international market and depreciation of Nepali currency vis-à-vis US dollar as well as stiff competition among destinations have made it difficult for it to compete in international market. Continue reading

CanyoningBasic Canyoning Training organized by the Trekking Agencies’ Association (TAAN) concluded at Lamjung on January 23.

Keshav Pandey, senior vice president of TAAN, gave away certificates to the participants and instructors during the inauguration of Lamjung Festival at Besisahar on January 24, according to a press statement issued by TAAN.

Nepal Canyoning Association (NCA) was the co-organizer of the 10-day training which was supported by District Development Committee (DDC) Lamjung and Deep Jyoti Club. A total of 11 underprivileged youths, mainly from Lamjung, including a British woman participated in the training. Rich Carlson, a trainer from American Canyoneering Academy (ACA), was the instructor of the training while Dabindra Tamang was the assistant instructor. Theorotical training was held at Mango Tree Resort at Chiti VDC while practical training was held at Raindu Khola Canyon in Marshyangdi Valley.

Bishnu Kumar Rai, Dinesh Lama, Min Bahadur Thapa, Nirmal Singh Thapa, Govinda Gurung, Kamal Bahadur Gurung, Kisan Gurung, Bishnu Khadka, Ven Lama, Devendra Babu Tiwari and Shannon Dudley of the United Kingdom were the participants. Igor Terra Nova of Brazil was the observer.

According to the organizers, the course has been designed in such a way that participants will also be able to do dry canyon. TAAN organized the training realizing the need for alternative adventure products in major trekking areas where trekking trails are shortening with the construction of roads, the statement added.

touristInternational tourist arrivals grew by 5 percent to record 1.08 billion in 2013.

According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourism results were well above expectations, with an additional 52 million international tourists travelling the world in 2013, despite global economic challenges.

For 2014, UNWTO forecasts 4 percent to 4.5 percent growth – again, above the long term projections.

Demand for international tourism was strongest for destinations in Asia and the Pacific (+6 percent), Africa (+6 percent) and Europe (+5 percent). According to a press statement issued by UNWTO, the leading sub-regions were South-East Asia (+10 percent), Central and Eastern Europe (+7 percent), Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6 percent) and North Africa (+6 percent).

“2013 was an excellent year for international tourism,” UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said in the statement. “The tourism sector has shown a remarkable capacity to adjust to the changing market conditions, fuelling growth and job creation around the world, despite the lingering economic and geopolitical challenges. Indeed, tourism has been among the few sectors generating positive news for many economies.”

UNWTO forecasts international arrivals to increase by 4-4.5 percent in 2014, again above its long-term forecast of +3.8 percent per year between 2010 and 2020. The UNWTO Confidence Index, based on the feedback from over 300 experts worldwide, confirms this outlook with prospects for 2014 higher than in previous years.

“The positive results of 2013, and the expected global economic improvement in 2014, set the scene for another positive year for international tourism. Against this backdrop, UNWTO calls upon national governments to increasingly set up national strategies that support the sector and to deliver on their commitment to fair and sustainable growth,” added Rifai.

According to the statement, 2014 regional prospects are strongest for Asia and the Pacific (+5 percent to +6 percent) and Africa (+4 percent to +6 percent), followed by Europe and the Americas (both +3 percent to +4 percent).