… it's all about tourism
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.


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.

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.

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.

Everest Day

A colorful rally was taken out on May 29 as part of 9th International Sagarmatha (Mt Everest) Day celebration.

Nepal celebrated the 9th International Sagarmatha (Everest) Day with a colorful celebration in Kathmandu on May 29.

The program started with a morning procession from Sanchaya Kosh Building, Thamel. The procession passed through Keshar Mahal, Narayanhiti Museum, Duarbarmarg, Ghantaghar and Ratnapark before concluding at Nepal Tourism Board (NTB)

Everest Summiteers and other mountaineers, high-level government officials, representatives from different tourism associations and other tourism organizations, among others, were present in the program.

Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli inaugurated the program by offering garland to the statues of first Everest summiteers — Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary — and Boris Lisanevich.

After the welcome speech by Ang Tshering Sherpa, Member Secretary of International Sagarmatha (Everest) Day Main Organizing Committee and President of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), a minute of silence was observed in memory of known and unknown mountaineers who lost their life in Nepal.

Everest expedition, which had stopped after an avalanche hit climbing parties in spring of 2014, resumed this year, recording more than 400 successful summits.

On the occasion, PM Oli released first day cancellation of a special stamp published to mark International Sagarmatha (Everest) Day.

On behalf of all Nepali Everest summiteers, Pasang Tenzing Sherpa requested the government to ensure retirement plan and policy for mountaineers Sherpa and financial support to climbers who suffered physical disabilities during expeditions. He also suggested deputing a separate specialized rope fixing team above Camp Two of Mt Everest.

Similarly, on behalf of the foreign Everest summiteers, Isaih Paul Janzen from USA shared his experience of climbing Mt. Everest.

On the occasion, Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of NTB, highlighted contribution of mountain tourism in Nepal’s overall tourism.

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