Newly appointed secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Suresh Man Shrestha on Sunday said Nepal needs to diversify its tourism products and services and market and promote it in international market effectively to reap desired benefits from the tourism sector.
“We have abundant tourism potentials. But we are failing to get desired benefits from them in the lack of infrastructures as well as effective marketing and promotion,” he said, adding that: “Focus should be on promoting our products and services in India and China – two emerging markets in the global scene.”
Hailing the role of private sector in tourism development, Shrestha solicited similar support and cooperation from the private sector in future as well. Commenting on the ongoing stalemate in NTB, Shrestha said: “The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) is looking into the issue. We will take necessary decision once the constitutional anti-graft body completes its investigation,” he said. “We need a full-functioning NTB for better promotion of tourism products and services.”
On the occasion, representatives of member organizations of JTCC congratulated Secretary Shrestha by offering bouquets and khadas.
Earlier in his inaugural speech, JTCC Coordinator Ramesh Prasad Dhamala briefed Secretary Shrestha about the activities being carried out by JTCC. “The tourism ministry has got a secretary who has studied tourism sector closely during his stint with Nepal’s Permanent Mission in Geneva and Nepal’s Consulate General in Kolkata,” Dhamala said, adding, “We are hopeful that our tourism industry will prosper under Shrestha’s able guidance.”
Similarly, BK Shrestha, president of Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), said tourist arrivals have been falling in recent months due to the ongoing stalemate at NTB. “I request you, as the chairman of NTB, to resolve the issue at the earliest,” Shrestha said.
Delivering vote of thanks, DB Limbu, president of NATTA and joint coordinator of JTCC, said the tourism industry won’t come on the track without resolving the impasse in NTB at the earliest.
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts has unveiled plan to open three new resorts in Kaski, Chitwan and Kathmandu.
Shangri-La is opening The Lost Horizon Resort near Begnas Lake in Kaski district. The resort will cater high-end tourists and construction will begin from 2015.
Officials of Shangri-La say construction works would be completed within a year. Altogether Rs 500 million is being spent on Begnas project.
The resort, which is spread over 40 million on a small hillock above Begnas Lake, is being built with an investment of Rs 500 million. It will contain 40 villages. British architect John Sandy is designing the resort, according to the hotel.
After The Lost Horizon Resort starts operation, Shangri-La Hotel & Resort will start works to build a resort in Mehgauli of Chitwan and Shivapuri of Kathmandu. Land for both the projects has already been acquired, according to hotel sources.
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts currently operate Hotel Shangri-La in Kathmandu and Shangri-La Village Resort in Pokhara.
Tourists are turning away from Africa in their droves after the Ebola outbreak and are cancelling trips including those to destinations thousands of miles away from the nearest infected community.
Most of the cancellations are from Asia but visitors from the United States, Brazil and Europe have cancelled or postponed trips to the region, tour operators have reported.
“We’ve seen a huge amount of cancellations from Asia and the groups that do travel, the numbers have dropped,” says Hammes Boshoff, managing director at Johannesburg-based ERM Tours, which organizes travel to countries in southern Africa.
He said about 80 percent of his Asian customers had cancelled trips over the coming two to three months, including a group booking of 1,500 visitors from Thailand worth 12 million rand (€840,000).
“A lot of customers just see Africa. They see it as one country. I try and tell people that Europe and America are closer to the Ebola outbreak than South Africa,” Boshoff said. Agents say Asians, who have lived through the deadly Sars epidemic and, more recently, a pandemic of H1N1 flu, do not want to take risks.
The Ebola virus has claimed more than 1,200 victims and can kill up to 90 percent of those it infects. There have been reported cases in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, as well as a tiny outbreak in Nigeria and a suspected one in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The World Health Organization says most infections in the west Africa states are taking place in the community when family members or friends take care of someone who is ill or when funeral preparation and burial ceremonies do not follow strict infection prevention and control measures.
A second important place where transmission can occur is in clinics and other health care settings, when health care workers, patients, and other persons have unprotected contact with a person who is infected. In Nigeria, cases are related only to persons who had direct contact with a single traveler who was hospitalized upon arrival in Lagos.
The general body meeting of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Board Employees Union recently elected a new executive committee under the leadership of Sudhan Subedi.
According to a press release issued by the union, Bimal Kandel, Khadga Bikram Shah, Janaki Upadhyaya and Surya Thapaliya are the vice-president, secretary, joint-secretary and treasurer in the new executive committee.
Similarly, Lekhnath Bhusal, Shraddha Shrestha and Kalyani Gautam are the members.
Talking to eTravelPress, newly elected president Subedi said the new executive committee will take positive initiation toward resolving the ongoing crisis at NTB. “We will play a coordinative role between the NTB management and different line agencies and work to safeguard rights and wellbeing of NTB employees,” he added.
The new executive committee will serve for a term of two years.
The government has named a peak after Elizabeth Hawley, who is respected as a chronicler of mountain climbing, and opened it for commercial expeditions.
According to tourism ministry officials, a small peak in Humla near the Nepal-Tibet border will henceforth be known as Peak Hawley. Height of the peak is 6,182 meters.
Hawley, who come to Nepal in 1960 as a journalist for Time magazine, has lived here ever since. She runs the Himalayan Database — a record of major summits of mountain peaks including Mt Everest.
Government officials say the peak has been named Hawley to recognize Ms Hawley’s contributions to mountaineering in Nepal.
Earlier in 2014, the government named two peaks in the Everest region after Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa of Nepal who reached the summit of Mt Everest for the first time in 1953. The government has also named a peak after Baden Powell – the founder of scout.