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.

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.

Tourist arrivals up 10% in October

Nepal saw a 10% surge in tourist footfalls in October compared to arrival figures of the same month last year.

China overtakes India to become largest tourist generating market for Nepal in October

 

 

Nepal saw a 10% surge in tourist footfalls in October compared to arrival figures of the same month last year.

According to data compiled and released by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), altogether 143,870 foreign tourists entered Nepal in the review. Of the total arrivals, 123,267 visitors came via air, whereas 20,603 came overland.

With this, Nepal has welcomed 975,557 foreign tourists over the first 10 months of 2019. According to the board, 820,499 came via air.

China was the largest visitors generating market for Nepal in October with 15,037 visitors, followed by India (12,707). Chinese arrivals grew by 11.5% compared to October last year, number of tourists from India grew by 9.1%.

However, India continues to the largest tourist generating markets for Nepal, contributing 169,952 visitors over the first 10 months of 2019, followed by China (134,281).

Arrivals from Asian countries like Bangladesh, Thailand, South Korea and Japan also increased during the month.

The European arrivals also surged in the review month with 42,297 total arrivals. United Kingdom, Germany and France were the top three visitors generating market for Nepal in October with 8,672, 7,308, and 6,777, respectively, arrivals. Total European arrivals over first 10 of 2019 reached 199,003.

According to the data, Nepal welcomed 12,109 visitors from the US in October. With this, the total arrivals from US in the first 10 months of 2019 have reached 77,798 – a rise of 5% compared to arrival figures in the same period of 2018. Likewise, Nepal welcomed 5,625 visitors from Australia and 2,624 visitors and Canada in the review month.

Commenting on the arrivals pattern, Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of Nepal Tourism Board, said that the growth in international tourist numbers was due to synergy between private sector, diplomatic missions, Nepalese diaspora, media and other stakeholders.

Yogesh Bhattarai appointed tourism minister

The government has appointed Yogesh Bhattarai as the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.

The government has appointed Yogesh Bhattarai as the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.

Bhattarai is a standing committee member of the ruling Nepal Communist Party and a lawmaker representing Taplejung district in eastern Nepal.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office and secrecy to Bhattarai amid a function organized at the President’s Office at Shital Niwas on Wednesday afternoon.

With Bhattarai’s appointment, tourism ministry has finally got a new leader six months after the tragic death of the then minister Rabindra Adhikari in a chopper crash in Taplejung district.

Yogesh Bhattarai is regarded one of the most influential youth leaders in the ruling Nepal Communist Party. He has not taken any ministerial post or any other political appointments so far. So, there are many who feel that this stint as tourism minister will be his real test.

The new job, however, will not be a cakewalk for this promising young leader. Ailing Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), which has been failing to make proper use of the four newly-procured Airbus series aircraft, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) expansion works, and the Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign will be his foremost challenges. Likewise, arranging new flight routes for the under-construction Gautam Buddha International Airport in Lumbini and Pokhara Regional International Airport, as well as environmental issues surrounding the proposed second international airport in Nijgadh of Bara will be other challenges for the new minister.

The new job, however, will not be a cakewalk for this promising young leader. Ailing Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), which has been failing to make proper use of the four newly-procured Airbus series aircraft, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) expansion works, and the Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign will be his foremost challenges. Likewise, arranging new flight routes for the under-construction Gautam Buddha International Airport in Lumbini and Pokhara Regional International Airport, as well as environmental issues surrounding the proposed second international airport in Nijgadh of Bara will be other challenges for the new minister.

Also looking after culture portfolio, he will have to ensure that reconstruction of historical monuments is completed on time. Likewise, he will also have to focus on conservation of UNESCO World Heritage sites as UNESCO has already threatened to delist them if needful conservation measures are not take on time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of five-star hotels rises to 15

The number of five-star hotels in the country has risen to 15 after Aloft Kathmandu Thamel got approval from the Department of Tourism on Monday.


The number of five-star hotels in the country has risen to 15 after Aloft Kathmandu Thamel got approval from the Department of Tourism on Monday, according to Annapurna Post daily.

Aloft Kathmandu Hotel will be managed by Aloft Hotels — a US-based hotel chain owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Aloft Kathmandu is the newest five-star property in Kathmandu. Aloft has 177 rooms. It has already signed a contract with Macau-based gaming company to run a casino on its premises. Aloft is one of the attractions in Chhaya Center Kathmandu which is being marketed as a Thamel inside Thamel. Aloft Hotel has been opened with an investment of Rs 5.5 million, according to the promoters.

Investment in hotels in Nepal has seen a surge after the 2015 earthquakes. Many international hotel chains entered Nepal expecting healthy growth in tourists arrivals post-earthquake.
Couple of months ago, Marriott Kathmandu Hotel started operations in Kathmandu. Marriott also manages a four-star property, Fairfield by Marriott, in Kathmandu.

Similarly, two more five-star hotels — Kathmandu Sheraton Hotel and Double Tree by Hilton — are under construction. Outside Kathmandu Valley, Hotel Garima of Itahari and Hotel Mechi Crown, which are under construction, also plan to apply for five-star certification.

Applications of Hotel Pawan Palace of Lumbini and Hotel Grande Prince of Jhapa for five-star rating are under study at the Department of Tourism, according to officials.

Likewise, Hotel Crown Plaza of Kohalpur and Soaltee Westend Premier of Nepalgunj have also received five-star certification from the Department of Tourism.