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APPOINTS RECORD-SETTING INDIAN EVERESTER AS ITS GOODWILL AMBASSADOR

ASTS

Acting DG of Department of Tourism Durga Dutta Dhakal felicitates Dharmshaktu as ASTS President Rabi Thapa (left) and ASTS Patron Bikram Pandey (right) look on.

Adventure Sports Tourism Society (ASTS) has appointed Love Raj Singh Dharmshaktu – the first Indian national to climb Mt Everest – as its goodwill ambassador for the Indian state of Uttarakhand.

Acting Director General of the Department of Tourism Durga Dutta Dhakal handed over a certificate of ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ to Dharmshaktu amid a program organized in Lalitpur on Thursday. He also put a special tiara made of Bodhi leaves on Dharmshaktu’s head on behalf of the ASTS.

Speaking at the program, director general Dhakal congratulated Dharmshaktu and said he was hopeful that appointment of Dharmshaktu as goodwill ambassador of ASTS would help in promotion of adventure tourism in both Nepal and India.

Similarly, ASTS patron Bikram Pandey Kaji said the new partnership would help to promote adventure tourism in this part of the Himalayas. “Nepal and India have many things in common. One of them is the Himalayas. Appointing Dharmshaktu as ASTS’s goodwill ambassador is a part of our effort to promote adventure sports tourism across the Himalayas. It will also help to promote cross-border tourism,” he added.

Likewise, Dharmshaktu said that he was touched by the gesture showed by the Nepali adventure tourism fraternity. “I express commitment to work for development and expansion of adventure sports tourism in India,” he added. “Despite living on the other side of border, I love Nepal. Nepal is like a second home to me.”

On the occasion, ASTS also unveiled its new working committee with Rabi Thapa as president. Uttam Manandhar, Dipesh Shrestha, and a representatives of each from canyoning, are the vice presidents, while Deepak Rai is the general secretary.

Speaking at the program, President Thapa said he would forge synergy among all those involved in adventure sports tourism and work for the development and expansion of adventure sports tourism.

By Kishor Basnyat/eTravelPress

HTM1

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari inaugurates the Himalayan Travel Mart.

Himalayan Travel Mart (HTM) 2017 has concluded in Kathmandu on a promising note.

Commenting on the mart, renowned travel entrepreneurs and personalities have focused on integrated approach and joint efforts to develop tourism industry keeping in view the changing travel trends in hospitality industry in the world. Similarly, keynote speakers representing different international tourism organizations focused on the need to forge collective efforts and make effective use of social media to get more tourists.

The three-day mart was inaugurated by President Bidya Devi Bhandari amid a colorful ceremony at Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu. In her inaugural address, the President said that she was hopeful that the HTM, which was organized with the objective of promoting Nepal as the gateway to the Himalays, would contribute to promote Nepal’s tourism all over the world.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Ashwini Lobani, the managing director of Air India, suggested Nepali travel fraternity to focus on information technology, security and connectivity, as well as development of infrastructure to get more benefits from tourism.

At the program, tourism secretary Shankar Prasad Adhikary, who is also the chairman of the HTM Organizing Committee, made a presentation on ‘Nepal, Gateway to the Himalaya’, where he talked about Nepal’s major tourism products and services.

Similarly, Andrew Jones, the immediate past chairman of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), said the HTM was a continuation of PATA’s commitment to the development of responsible and sustainable tourism in Nepal and the region.

Likewise, President of Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, Swadesh Kumar, highlighted on different aspects of fastest adventure tourism sector and stressed the ensure safety standards.

Another attraction of the event, was a fireside chat between PATA CEO Mario Hardy and CEO of NTB Deepak Raj Joshi. The chat was moderated by BBC correspondent Yogita Limahe. The chat focused on the role of social media in tourism promotion.

In the Himalayan Tourism Conference, which was organized on the sidelines of the event, global editor of WikiTrends –US, Daniel Levine; leader of the first Singapore Everest Expedition 1998, David Lim; founder of Mountain High, Dubai, Julie Lewis; former CEO of NTB, Prachanda Man Shrestha, chairman of Stic Travel Group of India, Subash Goyal; hotelier and motivational speaker of Thailand, Bert Van Walbeek; and founder of Mountain Travel and promoter of Nepal tourism, Robin Marston, presented their papers on Himalayan tourism , mountaineering  and development .

In the second session of the conference, PATA CEO, Mario Hardy; Hong Kong-based chief of destination marketing and sales at Trip Advisor, Sarah Matthews; founder and CEO of e-Tourism Frontiers of South Africa, Damian Cook; and President of Tang Dynasty Tours-China, Michael Zhou presented their papers on innovation and marketing.

Meanwhile, Himalayan Travel Mart (HTM) 2017 was organized at Park Village Resort, Budhanilkantha, on June 1. More than 100 international bloggers and journalists attended the conference. Most of them also participated in the pre-mart tours, travelling to different parts of the country. They also shared their travel experiences at the program.

Buyers of 53 countries from Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Australia attended the B2B session. There were 43 seller companies.

BK Shrestha

                                                   BK Shrestha

Seasoned tourism entrepreneur BK Shrestha is no more.

Shrestha breathed his last at his residence in Bhainsepati, Lalitpur, at 8 am on Tuesday, according to Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN). He was 68 and suffering from lungs cancer sings long.

The veteran entrepreneur, who entered the tourism industry by opening Himalayan Travel & Tours, brought international hotel chain Radisson to Nepal by opening Radisson Hotel Kathmandu at Lazimpat. He was also the promoter of Hotel Pokhara Grande, Pokhara, and Chitwan Paradise Hotel, Sauraha.

Shrestha served as the president of HAN between 2014 and 2016. He was also one of the promoters of Alliance Insurance Pvt Ltd which has now been renamed as Prabhu Insurance following its takeover by Prabhu Group. Shrestha also served as the vice president of the executive committee of NTB. He also chaired the tourism committee of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) – the apex body of Nepali private sector. He is also the former president of Nepal-German Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Shrestha is survived by wife and three daughters.

According to HAN, Shrestha will be cremated at the Pashupatinath crematorium later today.

marathonSuman Kulung and Nirkala Rai have won the men’s and women’s category of Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon held in the Everest Region on Monday.

Kulung, who ferries loads of trekkers between Lukla and Everest Base Camp, completed the 42.195 kilometers race in 3:43:57 hours. The 26-year-old Kulung had secured third position in last year’s marathon. Similarly, Nepal Army athletes Surendra Basnet and Bed Bahadur Sunuwar secured second and third positions, respectively, with the timing of 3:52:8 hours and 4:5:40 hours.

The highest marathon in the world begins from the Everest Base Camp (5,300 meters) and concludes at Namche Bazaar (3,450 meters).

The event is organized every year on May 29 to commemorate the first ascent of Mt Everest by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary back in 1953.

Similarly, Nirkala clinched the women’s title with the timing of 4:51:33 hours. Purnima Rai and Dawa Doma Sherpa finished in the second and third positions, respectively, completing the marathon in 5:07:26 hours and 5:37:43 hours. All the three ladies are from Solukhumbu district.

The top three finishers in both categories became richer by Rs 100,000, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000, respectively.

Pitor Hercog of Poland won the foreigner’s category with the timing of 4:38:22 hours. Robert Celinski, also from Poland, clocked 4:48:48 hours to secure second position, while French runner Fabrice Arman stood third with the timing of 5:28:30 hours.

Meanwhile, Nepal Army athletes clean swept the 60 km ultra-marathon. Tirtha Bahadur Tamang secured first position clocking 6:38:56 hours, while Mohan Dev Joshi (7:18:16 hours) and Purna Tamang (7:30:00 hours) secured second and third positions, respectively.

The top three finishers in the ultra and foreigner’s categories were given equal amount of Rs 100,000 Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000.

The event was organized by Himalayan Expeditions.

Mt Everest

Mt Everest (File Photo)

More than 100 climbers of different expedition teams reached the summit of Mt Everest from the Nepali side on Monday.

The climbers took advantage of a good weather window to climb the 8,848-meter peak.

Another 100 climbers had reached the summit on Sunday. Before that, 14 climbers, including three members of British Gurkhas Expeditions, had reached the summit of the tallest peak in the world.

Altogether, 454 climbers had climbed Mt Everest last year.

Meanwhile, government officials have refuted media reports that the Hillary Step, an outcrop along the route about 58 meters below the summit, has collapsed. The Hillary Step is still intact, say the officials of the Department of Tourism which issues permits to climber

A section of media had claimed that the 12-meter outcrop had collapsed.

FIVE DIE ON EVEREST

Everest has claimed five lives so far.

The number reached six after the body of Indian climber Ravi Kumar, who had gone missing since Sunday while making a descent from the summit, was found. The Indian climber had fallen some 200 meters down the mountain into a deep gorge.

On Sunday, US climber Roland Yearwood and Vladir Starba of Slovakia breathed their last while trying to conquer Everest. Similarly, seasoned Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck died on April 30.

Similarly, Nepali climber Min Bahadur Sherchan, who was 85, died at base camp early in May while on his way toward the summit. He was hoping to set a world record by becoming the oldest person on Everest summit.

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