Nepal forms task force to bring tourism back on track

In an attempt to breathe life into the tourism industry battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nepal launched Tourism Recovery Task Force (TRTF) on the eve of World Tourism Day2020 on Saturday.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation unveils logo of a campaign launched to promote domestic tourism.

In an attempt to breathe life into the tourism industry battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nepal launched Tourism Recovery Task Force (TRTF) on the eve of World Tourism Day2020 on Saturday.
The task force will be a common entity of the government and the private sector. It will cooperate and align the rational, responsible, progressive, and constructive advocacy with the government and decision-making authorities in tourism on how best Nepal’s tourism sector can adapt with and recover from the COVID-19 crisis and also work for better collaborations with key authorities/organizations, a statement issued by the task force said.
It also aims at ensuring consistency of messaging with updates in source markets through various channels and suggesting the plan and arranging possible resources to the government and other stakeholders through different initiatives, webinars, and programs toward the revival of tourism in a more resilient and sustainable manner.
Addressing the launching ceremony, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai, appreciated the private sector for coming together to foster collaborative efforts toward tourism recovery and invited the task force to jointly work with the governments at local, provincial, and federal levels. On the occasion, he also launched a domestic tourism promotion campaign named ‘Desh Darshan’.
The taskforce was first mooted by PATA Nepal Chapter and SKAL Nepal to bring together industry veterans, professionals, and leading global tourism organizations as advisors, prominent tourism associations as associational patrons, key agencies/organizations working in safety and security concerns of travelers as health and safety patrons and Nepal Tourism Board as industry patrons, according to the statement.
Former CEO of NTB, Deepak R Joshi, is the coordinator of the task force, while Treasurer of PATA Nepal Chapter, Khem Lakai, is the spokesperson. Likewise, PATA Nepal CEO Suresh Singh Budal will handle the taskforce’s secretariat.

10-times Everest summiteer Ang Rita Sherpa passes away

Ang Rita Sherpa, the first man to climb Everest 10 times, is no more. He was 72. The veteran climber breathed his last at his daughter’s residence in Jorpati at 10 am on Monday, according to family sources. Born in 1948 in Yillajung of Solukhumbu, Sherpa entered mountaineering as a porter at a tender age […]

Ang Rita Sherpa poses with Guinness World Record certificates in this file photo.

Ang Rita Sherpa, the first man to climb Everest 10 times, is no more. He was 72.

The veteran climber breathed his last at his daughter’s residence in Jorpati at 10 am on Monday, according to family sources.

Born in 1948 in Yillajung of Solukhumbu, Sherpa entered mountaineering as a porter at a tender age of 15. “I was orphaned in my teens which compelled me to accept mountaineering as a profession to support my family and supplement my meager income from farming marginal agricultural land in my village in Khumbu,” Sherpa had told eversthistory.com.

“I was orphaned in my teens which compelled me to accept mountaineering as a profession to support my family and supplement my meager income from farming marginal agricultural land in my village in Khumbu.”

Ang Rita, who had earned a nickname ‘Snow Leopard’ for his climbing prowess, was hired as a low altitude porter for an expedition to Dhaulagiri. Later, he worked for different expeditions and finally got the opportunity to become a climbing Sherpa of the British Army Expedition. He managed to reach Camp IV of Mt Everest with the expedition.
His first Everest summit came on May 7, 1983, when he assisted a German-American expedition to the top of Mt Everest. He reached the summit without using bottled oxygen. Next year, he climbed Mt Everest for the second time with a Slovak expedition. This was his first autumn summit. Next spring, he reached the Everest summit again with a Catalan expedition.

In 1992, he guided the first Chilean expedition to the summit of Mt Everest. A year later, he reached the summit again with a Spanish expedition. His first Everest summit from Tibetan side came in the spring of 1995 with a Russian expedition. His 10th summit was in 1996 with a Swedish expedition. All of his Everest summits were without the use of bottled oxygen.

Former President of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) Ang Tshering Sherpa remembers him as a very skillful mountaineer. “He didn’t use bottled oxygen in any of his summits,” Sherpa added.

According to Sherpa, Ang Rita was diagnosed of liver cirrohiss some 21 years ago. “We brought him to Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu where he received treatment for nearly three months. He had some problems in brain some four and half years ago. But it was also treated successfully,” Sherpa said, adding: “His daughter told me Ang Rita didn’t have serious medical issue of late.”

Ang Rita will be cremated as per Buddhist tradition. “I can’t fix the date yet as Lamas will find the auspicious date for cremation,” he added.

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.