First meeting of BIMSTEC tour operators concludes

The first meeting of Network of BIMSTEC Tour Operators concluded in New Delhi India on Friday.

BIMSTEC

The first meeting of Network of BIMSTEC Tour Operators in progress in New Delhi, India, on Friday.
Photo: BuddhistCircuits.Com

The first meeting of Network of BIMSTEC Tour Operators concluded in New Delhi India on Friday.

A five-member Nepali delegation led by Acting Director General of Department of Tourism,

Durga Dutta Dhakal, represented Nepal in the meeting. Other members of the team were Laxmi Sharma, legal officer with the department; Ashok Pokarel, president of Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO), Bikram Pandey KAJI, the founder of Buddhist Circuits.Com, and Shikhar Prasai, managing director of Natraj Tours.

In the meeting, participating tour operators shared their experience of handling tourist groups in the member states of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Trade and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). Other issues discussed in the meeting were preparing a common tour package, setting up hospitality desk at the airports of all member states, preparing webpage of BIMSTEC tour operators and simplifying visa for citizens of member states to increase movement of tourists in the region, according to acting director general Dhakal.

The next meeting of Netowork of BIMSTEC Tour Operators will be held in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, India has agreed to allow double entry e-visa facility to foreign tourists which allows e-visa holders to enter and re-enter its territory by land. Earlier, only the foreigners having sticker visa stamped on their passport were eligible for such facility.

“The decision means foreign tourists with Indian e-visa can now travel to bordering Nepali city and return back to India. The new provision will help us to bring more third country tourists from India to Nepal. They will enter Nepal form India, stay few days here and return back to India,” Bikram Pandey of Buddhist Circuits.Com said, adding, “It will help us to bring more tourists to Lumbini, Chitwan and Pokhara and other tourists sites as Cross Border Tourism within Nepalese territory.”

Established in 1997, the Bay of Bengal Multi-Sectoral Trade and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a sub-regional forum of seven countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Hotelier BK Shrestha no more

Seasoned tourism entrepreneur BK Shrestha is no more.

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.

Pokhara features in NatGeo’s ‘Best Spring Trips 2017’ list

Popular travel magazine National Geographic has featured Pokhara city in its ‘Best Spring Trips 2017’ list.

etravelpress

A paraglider soars over the Pokhara Valley with Mt Machhapuchhre, also known as Fishtail, in the backdrop. (Photo: www.travelingonepal.com)

Popular travel magazine National Geographic has featured Pokhara city in its ‘Best Spring Trips 2017’ list.

Pokhara made it into the list with 11 other destinations from over the world.

“Soaring over the Pokhara Valley delivers adrenaline-junkie Himalaya views without the hiking. Pokhara, a gateway to Nepal’s Annapurna region, is considered one of the world’s top spots for paragliding due, in part, to jaw-dropping views of glaciers, lakes, and snow-covered peaks,” the publication writes.

The magazine has also praised the service of Sunrise Paragliding – a paragliding operator based in Lakeside.

“No experience is required to ride with an instructor on a Sunrise Paragliding tandem flight. Options include the relatively tame Cloud Buster (20- to 30-minute) scenic flight, a longer (45- to 60-minute) Cross-Country tour, and the spinning-and-spiraling Acrobatic Flight,” the magazine writes, adding: “Before launching from Sarangkot (2,000 feet above the Pokhara Valley), snap a picture of Pokhara’s majestic mountain triple crown—26,795-foot Dhaulagiri, 26,040-foot Annapurna II, and 26,781-foot Manaslu.”

Pokhara is the second popular destination in the country after Kathmandu – the capital city of Nepal. The city, which is famous for breathtaking mountain views, is a gateway to popular trekking trails in the Annapurna Region.

Other destination featured in the list are Cape – to – Cape in South Africa, Eastern Europe by Balkan Flexipass, New York City Central Park in USA, Olympic National Park in Washington, USA, Suzhou in China, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Balloon Rally in Wisconsin, USA, Philadelphia in USA, Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, Aogashima Island in Japan and Bubble Lodges in France.

Tourist arrivals up 40 percent in 2016

Tourist arrivals to Nepal in 2016 jumped by 39.71 percent to 753,002 compared to arrival figures of 2015.

File Photo

File Photo

Tourist arrivals to Nepal in 2016 jumped by 39.71 percent to 753,002 compared to arrival figures of 2015.

However, total arrivals in 2016 are still down by 4.69 percent compared to 2014 when the country had welcomed 790,118 foreign visitors.

Data compiled by the Department of Immigration shows tourist arrivals posted healthy growth in October, November and December. These months are regarded the peak season for Nepali tourism industry.

Tourism stakeholders expect that the momentum will continue in 2017 as well as China has announced Nepal Tourism Promotion Year 2017 in a bid to encourage its citizens to visit Nepal. Similarly, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has intensified promotional programs in leading markets which is expected deliver positive results this year.

The data shows India continues to become the largest market for Nepali tourism industry. Arrivals from India grew 57.4 percent to 118,249 in 2016. Similarly, arrivals from China jumped by 55.26 percent to 104,005.

Likewise, tourist arrivals from the US, Sri Lanka and the UK jumped 25.67 percent, 29.64 percent and 55.71 percent, respectively, in the review year, data shows.

Missing Romanian trekker found dead

Romanian trekker Popescu Adina Monica (26), who had gone missing in the Annapurna Region for over a week, has been found dead. A police team deployed by District Police Office, Kaski, found the dead body on the bank of Shiva River in Ghandruk VDC-1 on Sunday evening, The Himalayan Times daily quoted Deputy Superintendent of […]

Popescu Adina Monica

Popescu Adina Monica

Romanian trekker Popescu Adina Monica (26), who had gone missing in the Annapurna Region for over a week, has been found dead.

A police team deployed by District Police Office, Kaski, found the dead body on the bank of Shiva River in Ghandruk VDC-1 on Sunday evening, The Himalayan Times daily quoted Deputy Superintendent of District Police Office, Kaski, Gaju Siddhi Bajracharya as saying.

According to TAAN Western Regional Association, Popescu was traveling alone. She had got TIMS card from Nepal Tourism Board’s Pokhara Office and entered into Annapurna Region from Dhampus check post on July 13. Her exit from the region is not recorded.

Popescu arrived Nepal on July 11 on a weeklong visit. She was scheduled to reach Bucharest on July 18.

Popescu’s family started her search after the airline informed that she had not boarded her flight back home.