Lumbini Peace Marathon on March 1

Buddhist Circuits.com is organizing Lumbini Peace Marathon in Lumbini on March 1.

etravelpress

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Jitendra Narayan Dev (center) unveil the booklet of Lumbini Peace Marathon in Kathmandu on Wednesday. Also seen in the picture are Buddhist Circuits.com’s Founder Bikram Pandey KAJI (right) and Product Manager Dipak Rai.

Buddhist Circuits.com is organizing Lumbini Peace Marathon in Lumbini on March 1.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Jitendra Dev, unveiled the marathon which is being held on the full moon day of Falgu Poornima, the auspicious day when Siddhartha Gautam returned to his home country as an Enlightened Buddha, on the occasion of 38th World Tourism Day on Wednesday.

The marathon is being organized by Buddhist Circuits.com in association with National Tourism Foundation and Adventure Sports Tourism Society (ASTS).

Speaking at the program, Minister Dev lauded the efforts of the private sector in promoting Buddhist heritage sites through sports. “I am hopeful that the marathon will become a popular tourism and sporting event in the country,” he added.

Concluding the unveiling ceremony of the Lumbini Peace Marathon booklet by the tourism minister, the concept man and script writer of the marathon event, Mr Bikram Pandey KAJI, said that today’s unveiling of this booklet is to mark the celebration of World Tourism Day by us tourism players in Nepal. “This unveiling event will go to the world as a Greeting and Gift of World Tourism Day celebration from the Nepali side to the rest of the world.

This spiritual sports peace marathon kick-starts from Kudan crisscrossing Buddhist heritage sites on life of Buddha and land of three Buddhas, of Gotihawa, Buddha Ganga (Ban Ganga) River, Kapilvastu Fort and Tilaurakot Palace, and then embarks on Mother Mayadevi Maternity Route to Niglihawa, Arorakot and Dohani, and concludes on the Mayadevi Temple Sacred Garden. The marathon will have three categories: Olympic Standard (42.195 kilometers), Half Marathon (21 kilometers), and Student Run (5/7 km).

The winner will receive a purse of Rs 100,000, while the first and second runners-up will become richer by Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. The first prize has been named after Emperor Ashoka who confirmed that the present day Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha by erecting Ashokan Pillar. The second prize is dedicated to Chinese explorer Xuan Zang who visited Lumbini and Kaplivastu in the 7th Century and gave minute details of Lumbini and Kapilvastu Sakya Kingdom and Tilaurakot Palace in his travel account. It is because of his travel account that it could be possible to identify Kapivastu of Nepal as the real ancient Sakya Kingdom. Likewise, the third prize has been named after Former United Nations Secretary General Uthant who made a commitment in 1967 to develop Lumbini area as a sacred garden of haven. It is because of his contribution that we can see Lumbini Sacred Garden developed into the present form.

Commenting on Lumbini Peace Marathon event, Bikram Pandey KAJI of Buddhist Circuits.com, who conceived the event, said: “This event is our yet another effort to develop some new and innovative products for the Nepali tourism industry. It not only promotes Lumbini to the rest of the world, but also establishes Lumbini as the head start point in Buddhist Circuits map.”

#photoNepal features photographs of Gokyo area

The #photoNepal exhibition for the month of September has featured photographs of the Gokyo region by Dawa Lama Tamang.

etravelpress

Travel photographer Dawa Lama Tamang (left) carriers a short profile about him at the exhibition venue.

The #photoNepal exhibition for the month of September has featured photographs of the Gokyo region by Dawa Lama Tamang.

Dawa, who likes to call himself a dreamer, is an adventurer and a successful tourism entrepreneur. The owner of Traveltimes Treks, which was established in 2010, Dawa has traveled across the length and breadth of Nepal, leading his groups.

Born in Kavre district, Dawa has built a career in tourism industry as an adventure trekking guide, mountaineer, travel organizer and landscape photographer. He is also the executive committee member of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) where he heads the association’s Mountaineering Department.

Inaugurating the exhibition, Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), said that #photoNepal is about connecting people and place. “Gokyo valley is great in terms of unmatched landscape and pristine lake. This edition of #photoNepal is thus dedicated to Gokyo,” Joshi shared.

NTB has been organizing #photoNepal every month to promote beautiful destinations and activities possible in Nepal. Gokyo exhibition will be held at Nepal Tourism Board on September 22-26, 2017.

Gokyo Lake lies in Sagarmatha National Park in north eastern Nepal. Among five lakes in the Gokyo lakes system, Thonak is the largest. The wetland lies on the head of the Dudh Kosi River, which descends from Cho Oyu (8,201 meters). The Gokyo lake system is naturally vulnerable, as it is lying in an ecologically fragile and unstable zone. The outburst of Ngozumpa glacier is always a threat to the existence of the lakes.

Here are some photos put on display at the #photoNepal exhibition:

 

Govt setting up independent agency to probe air accidents

The government is setting up an independent aircraft accident investigation agency as part of its preparation to meet international obligations for improving aviation safety and preventing accidents in the future.

etravelpress

Crash site of Sita Air’s Dornier aircraft in Bhaktapur district.
Pic: BBC Files

The government is setting up an independent aircraft accident investigation agency as part of its preparation to meet international obligations for improving aviation safety and preventing accidents in the future.

According to officials of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the agency will probe aircraft accidents and recommend measures to prevent such accidents in the future. It will also help improve the quality of aviation service in the country by identifying factors causing air accidents in Nepal.

The tourism ministry had recently formed a committee to study the matter and provide its report to the government. It has also said that the government can collect service charge from airlines, airports and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), among others, to arrange financial resources for the to-be-formed body. The agency will have a pool of experts who will act as investigators.

Currently, aircraft accidents are investigated by an ad hoc investigation committee that the tourism ministry forms as soon as the accidents occur. Such committees are formed as per the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Accident) Regulations 2014

Air safety manual of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requires each member state to establish an independent organization to conduct investigations into aircraft accidents and incidents that come within the jurisdiction of the state.

Earlier in July, ICAO removed Nepal from the list of Significant Safety Concerns (SSC) after it achieved 66 percent compliance rate – above the global standard of 60 percent.

Handicraft exports up by 13% in FY 2016/17

Export of Nepali handicraft products grew by 13 percent in the last fiscal year.

Nepali handicraftsExport of Nepali handicraft products grew by 13 percent in the last fiscal year.

The growth in exports was fueled mainly by higher demand for metal crafts, cotton goods, felt products, glass products and woolen goods from the international market, according to the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN).

According to the federation, Nepal exported Rs 5.4 billion worth of handicraft products in the last fiscal year, ending July 15. In the previous fiscal year, the country had exported handicraft products worth only Rs 4.8 billion.

There is high demand for Nepali in the United States, Europe and the Asia Pacific countries, officials of the federation said.

Felt products was Nepal’s largest handicraft exports in the review year. Export of felt products fetched the country Rs1.5 billion in 2016/17, up 38 percent compared to in 2015/16, followed by metal crafts (Rs 1.4 billion). Export of metal crafts grew by 10 percent in the last fiscal year compared to 2015/16, followed by woolen products (6 percent), and glass products (169 percent).

Export of glass products surged by 169 percent to Rs319.7 million in 2016/17 thanks mainly to huge demand for Nepali glass-made hookah.

However, exports of paper and pashmina products fell by 8 percent and 26 percent, respectively, to Rs429 million and Rs217 million in 2016/17.

The government is offering cash incentive equivalent to 2 percent of the value of exported goods having value addition of at least 30 percent. It is currently mulling over raising the incentive to 4 percent based on suggestions of the exporters.

 

Santabir Lama elected NMA president

Santabir Lama has been elected president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA).

etravelpress

Team members of Santabir Lama panel pose for the camera after election results were announced on Saturday night.

Santabir Lama has been elected president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA).

Lama edged his competitor Zimba Zangbu Sherpa by 76 votes. While Lama got 383 votes, Sherpa could muster 316 votes.

Lama is the incumbent 1st vice president, while Sherpa is the immediate past president of the association.

Similarly, Dibash Bikram Shah and Maya Sherpa, both from Lama panel, have been elected to the post of 1st vice president and 2nd vice president, respectively. Shah defeated Bhumilal Lama, while Sherpa got better of Ngimi Sherpa of Zimba’s panel.

However, Kul Bahadur Gurung from Zimba’s panel has been elected to the post of general secretary. He defeated his opponent Bodhraj Bhandari of Lama panel by 100 votes.

Candidates of Lama panel have been elected to the post of secretary and treasurer. Tikaram Gurung and Sudarshan Neupane have been elected to the post of secretary and treasurer, respectively.

Four candidates from Zimba panel, and five from Lama panel have been elected to the post of Executive Committee Members. Dr Hari Prasad Shrestha, Ang Chhewang Sherpa, Da Gyaljen Shpera and Tulsi Gurung have been elected to the post of executive members from Zimba’s panel, while Pasang Tendi Sherpa, Singi Lama, Mingmar Sherpa, Binaya Shakya and Sanjeev Gurung have been elected Executive Members from Lama panel.

The newly elected executive committee will have term of three years.

A total of 756 votes were cast in the election for the executive committee held on Saturday.