Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) President Chandra Prasad Rijal has termed his visit to China, as a member of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s high-level delegation, was immensely successful.
This is the first time that institutional representation of Nepali tourism sector has been made in high-level government visits.
President Rijal actively participated in PM Oli’s high-level meetings in Beijing as well as bilateral discussions held by Nepali business delegation in different Chinese cities.
“In such meetings held in the leadership of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), I apprised Chinese officials of the problem that Nepali tourism industry is facing. I also informed that Nepali tourism entrepreneurs were facing problem in handling groups in Tibet due to closure of Tatopani entry point,” Rijal added.
At the meeting, Chinese officials expressed commitment to raise the issue before regional and central government, added Rijal.
The Nepali business delegation held bilateral discussions with Chinese business people in Chengdu, Beijing, Xi’an and Sanya. Issues related to bilateral tourism were strongly raised in the meetings, according to Rijal. “Similarly, in one-to-one meetings with An Qiui, vice chairman of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and Wang Ping, chairman of China Chamber of Tourism, I talked about policy and practical problems that Nepali tourism entrepreneurs are facing while taking Indian and third country tourists to Kailash-Mansarobar area of Tibet. They have assured us that needful initiative would be taken to resolve the problems,” Rijal added.
Rijal further said that he informed Prime Minister Oli and other senior officials in the delegation that it was possible to bring tourists reaching Lhasa, Tibet, to Nepal by building necessary infrastructures. He also urged the government to immediately bring Kerung and Kora La route into operation by building necessary infrastructures.
The delegation led by PM Oli returned home on March 27.
Kathmandu is at the 23rd position ahead of Sydney (Australia) and Budapest (Hungary).
The award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions in destinations worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period, as well as traveler booking interest on its website, TripAdvisor said in a statement.
“The Travelers’ Choice Destination awards recognize the world’s most beloved travel spots, based on feedback and booking interest from the TripAdvisor community,” a TripAdvisor statement quoted Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor, as saying.
Kathmandu is the only South Asian destinations in the list which has London as the most favorite destination. Bangkok, Hong Kong and Tokyo, among others, are other Asian destinations in the list. Similarly, Istanbul, Paris, Prague, Rome, New York City and Dubai are the other top destinations in the list.
“Nepal’s capital is surrounded by a valley full of historic sites, ancient temples, shrines, and fascinating villages. Mingle with locals and animals amid Durbar Square’s monuments, or join mountain trekkers in the bustling Thamel district,” reads the brief intro of the city posted on TripAdvisor. “Explore shops for exquisite work by local artisans-carpets and paper prints are specialties.”
Himalaya Airlines — a Nepal-China joint venture — is set to begin commercial operation from April.
The airline brought its first aircraft Airbus 320-214 to Kathmandu on Wednesday. The new aircraft, with 9N-ALM call-sign, was given water cannon salute upon its arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu. The aircraft flew to Kathmandu from Chengdu, according to a statement issued by the airline.
The aircraft has 158 seats including eight in business class.
Himalaya Airlines plans to begin commercial operation, by launching daily flights to Doha (Qatar) and New Delhi (India).
“We are pleased to welcome the first aircraft of our company which will help strengthen the air connectivity of Nepal to international network. This marks the opening of a new chapter of commercial aviation in Nepal and I am confident that Himalaya Airlines will also contribute to attaining the country’s objective to promote tourism sector,” the statement quoted Bijaya Shrestha, vice president-administration of Himalaya Airlines, as saying.
The airline has made full preparation in terms of training flight crew and maintenance personnel and has in place systems, people and infrastructure to start commercial flights, according to the statement.
The airline aims to acquire 15 Airbus 320 aircraft and fly to various destinations in Asia and beyond in the next five years.
Himalayan Infrastructure Fund (HIF) Aviation Investment and Yeti World Investment together share a 51 percent stake in the airline, while Tibet Airlines owns the remaining 49 percent.
Deepak Raj Joshi is the CEO of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). He was appointed to the post on December 17 last year through open competition. As Nepal embarks on tourism recovery after the devastating earthquakes and supply obstructions due to Indian blockade, Kishor Basnyat of eTravelPress talked to Joshi to know about his plans. Excerpts:
Please tell us about our tourism industry.
Our tourism is around six decades old. Initially it started with exploration and mountaineering. Later we started wildlife tourism and cultural tourism. It is gradually diversified. But the pace of diversification is not so satisfactory. Tourism holds great prospects but we have been failing to exploit the potential to the fullest. Continue reading
Travel warning was issued on October 8 last year, citing geological instability following the earthquake and the monsoon season, unrest in the Tarai region and fuel crisis.
Issuing a statement on Tuesday, US Embassy in Kathmandu said that the travel warning was lifted “because conditions have changed”. With the end of blockade and the effects of the earthquake no more in the country, Nepal’s tourism sector is set to be restored.
According to World Travel and Tourism Council, Nepal’s travel and tourism sector directly generated 487,500 jobs in 2014, representing 3.5 percent of the total employment in the country.