Nepal shuts Mount Everest, other peaks due to coronavirus

The government has shut down Mount Everest and other mountain peaks of the country for the spring season because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Mt Everest

Mt Everest (File Photo)

The government has shut down Mount Everest and other mountain peaks of the country for the spring season because of the coronavirus outbreak.

A high-level committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel took the decision on Thursday.

“This is to notify that climbing permits for the expedition that have already been issued or to be issued for the 2020 spring season, has been halted to the present, in accordance with the decision made on March 12 by the high-level committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister, Government of Nepal,” reads a statement issued by Department of Tourism (DoT).

The decision means there will be no expedition to Mount Everest this season as China had already cancelled expeditions form the northern face.

The government has already said that it would stop issuing on-arrival tourist via from March until April 30.

Each mountaineer needs to pay US$ 11,000 permit fee to climb Mount Everest.

Notice issued by Department of Tourism.

The decision will affect hundreds of mountain guides and high altitude Sherpas who have been earning livelihood from mountaineering.
Nepal issued altogether 772 Everest permits — 382 climber permits and 390 support permits – in 2019. Of them, 292 climbers and 368 climbing supporters successfully reached the Everest summit.

The government mobilized Rs 495 million from expedition royalty in spring last year.

 

Eight Indians found unconscious in Daman hotel confirmed dead

Eight Indian tourists, who were found unconscious in a hotel room in Daman, Makwanpur, on Tuesday morning, have been confirmed dead.

File photo of Everest Panorama Resort in Daman, Makwanpur.

Eight Indian tourists, who were found unconscious in a hotel room in Daman, Makwanpur, on Tuesday morning, have been confirmed dead.

The eight tourists, who were a part of a 15-member entourage, staying at Everest Panorama Resort in Daman , were airlifted to Kathmandu on Tuesday morning after all of them were found unconscious in their hotel room. A chopper of Kailash Air had airlifted them to HAMS Hospital in Mandikhatar.

Remaining seven members of the entourage are fine.

The group had checked into the resort while returning to India after visiting Pokhara. Though identity of the deceased is yet to be ascertained, they are reportedly from the Kerala state.

A staffer of the resort told mediapersons that the group had checked into the hotel at 9:30 pm and used a gas heater to warm themselves.

Daman, which is located at an altitude of nearly 2,500 meters above sea level, is a popular tourist destination. The Nepal-India border town of Raxaul is 111 kilometers south of Daman.

TAAN, VNY Secretariat sign MoU

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Visit Nepal Year (VNY) 2020 Secretariat have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for organizing various programs both at home and abroad to meet the objectives of Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign.

TAAN President Khum Bahadur Subedi (left) and VNY 2020 National Coordinator Suraj Vaidya sign MoU at TAAN Secretariat.
Photo Courtesy: TAAN

 

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Visit Nepal Year (VNY) 2020 Secretariat have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for organizing various programs both at home and abroad to meet the objectives of Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign.

TAAN President Khum Bahadur Subedi and VNY 2020 National Coordinator Suraj Vaidya signed the MoU on behalf of their respective institutions.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, President Subedi highlights activities organized by TAAN for promotion of VNY 2020 campaign. He also added that TAAN was encouraging its member agencies to bring around 800,000 tourists next year to support the campaign.

Similarly, Member Secretary, Program Executive Committee of VNY 2020 Secretariat, Bachchu Narayan Shrestha, said the secretariat has requested TAAN to work for promoting Nepal’s adventure tourism products in the international markets. “The role of private sector will be key for the success of the yearlong campaign,” he added.

Also speaking at the program, VNY 2020 National Coordinator Suraj Vaidya said said VNY is not just a yearlong campaign but an ongoing process. “I request associations like TAAN to work for bringing more tourists to the country,” he added.

Nepal Airlines gets permission for Guangzhou flights

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has received go-ahead from China Civil Aviation Administration (CAAA) to operate scheduled flights to Guangzhou.

 

An Airbus A380 aircraft sits on the tarmac of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in this file photo. (Photo: www.eTravelPress.com)

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has received go-ahead from China Civil Aviation Administration (CAAA) to operate scheduled flights to Guangzhou.

According to officials of the national flag carrier, the Chinese aviation regulator approved Nepal’s request to operate flight to Guangzhou after studying necessary documents sbumitted by the airline and also due to diploamtic efforts made by Nepal.

Earlier, CAAA had said that it would allow NAC to operate flights in China only after conducting its safety audit. But the Chinese aviation regulator decided to allow Nepal to fly into Chinese skies without conducting any such audits.

NAC officials say that they would announce flight schedule only after completing other preparations like appointment of GSA and marketing of the destination, among others.

Guangzhou is the third busiest airport in China in terms of aircraft movement. In 2018, it handled 69.7 million passengers and 1.89 billion tons of cargo. Of late it is emerging as a hub for passengers heading to the US and Australia, among others.

Nepal Airlines will have to compete with China Southern for cargo and passengers in Kathmandu-Guangzhou sector. The Chinese carrier is flying two times a day to Kathmandu form Guangzhou.

Nepal and China revised Air Service Agreement earlier in July. As per the agreement, Nepali carriers can operate 98 flights per week to any Chinese airport.

Another Nepali carrier, Himalaya Airlines, has been operating scheduled flights to Beijing.

 

 

JAT-Nepal elects new leadership

Journalists Association for Tourism – Nepal (JAT-Nepal) has unanimously elected a new leadership with Devi Prasad Pant as president.

Journalists Association for Tourism – Nepal (JAT-Nepal) has unanimously elected a new leadership with Devi Prasad Pant as president.

The 8th annual general meeting of the assocaition held in Kathmandu elected Kishor Basnet as 1st vice president, Shreehari Shrestha as 2nd vice president, Hari Sharan Neupane as general secretary, Manuka Kunwar as secretary and Mohan Prasad Mainali as treasurer.

Similarly, Kumar Chaulagain, Shankar Pradhananga, Achyut Regmi, Arjun Pakhrin, Shiva Basnet and Julie Gurung have been elected executive members.

The new executive committee will have a two-year term.

Commenting after his election to the post, President Pant said the effort of the new executive committee will be on involving in tourism promotional works for the success of Visit Nepal Year 2020 program.