Monthly Archives: April 2014

Brand new MA60 joins NAC fleet

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has added a new aircraft in its fleet after a hiatus of 28 years.

NAC

The new MA60 on the tarmac of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Sunday. (Photo Courtesy: Shila Pandey)

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has added a new aircraft in its fleet after a hiatus of 28 years.

The 58-seater Modern Ark 60 aircraft of the national flag carrier landed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu on Sunday afternoon.

The aircraft was given water-cannon salute at the airport amid performance by the traditional Panche Baja troop. Government officials, officials of NAC and media persons, among others were present at the airport to welcome the aircraft. (more…)

Climbers retreat from Everest

There will be no no summit on Everest this season.

Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp (File Photo)

There will be no no summit on Everest this season.

According to Nagarik daily, foreign mountaineers and Nepali mountaineering staff have already started leaving the Everest base camp.

Nepali mountaineering staff expressed unwillingness to operate expedition teams on Everest this season after they lost their 13 colleagues in an avalanche on April 18. Three others are missing while six more are getting treatment in different hospitals. (more…)

Private sector up in arms against NTB

Joint Tourism Coordination Committee (JTCC), a forum of 19 travel trade associations, on Tuesday handed over a four-point memorandum to the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Bhim Acharya, drawing the attention of the government toward pressing issues of the Nepali tourism industry. They have also warned that they won’t cooperate with NTB unless […]

JTCC

JTCC Coordinator Ramesh Dhamala reads out the memorandum in the presence of Tourism Minister Bhim Acharya. (Photo: TAAN)

Joint Tourism Coordination Committee (JTCC), a forum of 19 travel trade associations, on Tuesday handed over a four-point memorandum to the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Bhim Acharya, drawing the attention of the government toward pressing issues of the Nepali tourism industry.

They have also warned that they won’t cooperate with NTB unless their demands were addressed.

Representatives of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN), Nepal Association of Tours and Travel Agents (NATTA), Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), Nepal Association of Rafting Agents (NARA), PATA Nepal Chapter, Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO), Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), Expeditions Operators Association Nepal (EOA Nepal), Village Tourism Promotion Forum Nepal (VITOF), Thamel Tourism Development Council (TTDC), Association for Tourism, Pokhara Tourism Development Committee, Association of Kailash Tour Operators, Tourist Bus Association of Nepal, Nepal Tourist Vehicles Association, National Tourism Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal (NEAT Nepal),  Nepal National Tourism Entrepreneurs Organizations and UCPN Maoist Tourism Sector Committee were present on the occasion.

Responding to the delegation, Minister Acharya said he would take necessary action after studying the memorandum.

The associations later unveiled their demands by organizing a press meet in Kathmandu.

As a short-term measure to bring about reforms in Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), the associations have asked the government to appoint private sector representatives in the board of NTB on their recommendations.  For the long-term solution, the associations have asked the government to study report of a taskforce constituted by the tourism minister of the government formed after the people’ movement of 2006 and restructure NTB accordingly.

Saying that past programs and activities of NTB were designed to serve the vested interest of handful of persons and organizations, the associations have called on the government to launch comprehensive study on plans, programs and expenditure made over the past five years by a team comprising of private sector representatives and auditing experts.
The associations have urged the government to stop National Tourism Fair that NTB is organizing in the near future. The memorandum presented to the tourism minister states, “Private sector are not convinced with the preparation for the fair aimed at promoting domestic tourism.”

They also said the tourism fair is becoming ineffective as private sector, who sells tourism products and services in international arena, have not been involved in the event planning and implementation process.

Saying that NTB started organizing National Tourism Fair by neglecting the proposal to organize Himalayan Travel Mart by the private sector, the associations have said such an act of bias would only dampen relation between NRB and the private sector.
“The CEO selection process at NTB is lingering as one of the candidates of CEO is assuming the responsibility of director and acting CEO in NTB,” the memorandum states, “Hence, the candidate should be removed from the responsibility until the CEO selection process is finalized.”

Counting of Bengal Florican begins

Census of Bengal Floricans, one of the world’s rare bird species, at Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in Kanchanpur has begun.

Bengal Florican

Bengal Florican (File Photo)

Census of Bengal Floricans, one of the world’s rare bird species, at Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in Kanchanpur has begun.

The counting will continue till May 8.

This is the second time that counting of Bengal Florcians, locally known as Khar Majur, is being conducted. The first counting was held in the reserve last year.

Apart from Suklaphanta, the rare bird species is also available in Chitwan National Park and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. The bird had also been spotted in Bardiya National Park in the past. However, it has not been sighted in the national park for the past four years. (more…)

13 dead in Everest avalanche

Thirteen mountaineering staff lost their lives in one of the deadliest avalanches at Mt Everest on April 18.

Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp (File Photo)

Thirteen mountaineering staff lost their lives in one of the deadliest avalanches at Mt Everest on April 18.

Three other are still missing, while six others are injured. The injured are receiving treatment at different hospitals in Kathmandu.

Ten of the deceased are from Solukhumbu, two from Sankhuwasabha, and one from Taplejung.

The deceased are Dorjee Khatri of Lelep in Taplejung, Mingma Nuru Sherpa of Namche-4 in Solukhumbu, Dorji Sherpa of Namche-9 in Solukhumbu, Ang Tshirig Sherpa of Namche-7, Nima Sherpa of Namche-9, Phurba Ongyal Sherpa of Khumjung-7, Lakpa Tenjing Sherpa of Khumjung-2, Chhiring Ongchu Sherpa of Khumjung-2, Then Dorjee Sherpa of Khumjung-7, Phur Temba Sherpa of Yamphudin-9 in Sankhuwasbha, Ang Kaji Sherpa of Makalu-9 I Sankhuwasabha, Pasang Karma Sherpa of Jubing-5 and Asmang Tamang of Sotang-9 in Solukhumbu lost lives in the tragic incident.

An avalanche at 5800 meters, below Camp I, had swept away mountaineering workers of different expeditions at 6:30 am on April 18.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to provide compensation of Rs 40,000 each to next to kin of the deceased for final rites. Similarly, Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) and Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) each have decided to provide Rs 50,000 to next to kin of the deceased and Rs 35,000 to the inured. Expedition Operators Association Nepal is giving Rs 25,000 to next to kin of the deceased and Rs 15,000 to the inured.