Hari Dharel appointed Honorary Consul General of Denmark

Tourism entrepreneur Hari Dharel has been appointed as the Honorary Consul General of Denmark for Nepal.

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                                              Hari Dharel

Tourism entrepreneur Hari Dharel has been appointed as the Honorary Consul General of Denmark for Nepal.

Dharel, who is a former general secretary of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN), assumed his new responsibility from November 1.

Dharel is the managing director of Highland Excursions Pvt Ltd and Himalayan Trails Travel and Tours as well as Hotel Highlander Inn. He has trade relations with Denmark for the past three decades.

Nepal and Denmark are celebrating 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations on December 15.

Nepal is one of the important development partners of Npeal. Bilateral trade between the two countries is around Rs 500 million annually. Nepal welcomes around 7,000 tourists from Denmark every year.

Lumbini Peace Marathon on March 1

Buddhist Circuits.com is organizing Lumbini Peace Marathon in Lumbini on March 1.

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Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Jitendra Narayan Dev (center) unveil the booklet of Lumbini Peace Marathon in Kathmandu on Wednesday. Also seen in the picture are Buddhist Circuits.com’s Founder Bikram Pandey KAJI (right) and Product Manager Dipak Rai.

Buddhist Circuits.com is organizing Lumbini Peace Marathon in Lumbini on March 1.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Jitendra Dev, unveiled the marathon which is being held on the full moon day of Falgu Poornima, the auspicious day when Siddhartha Gautam returned to his home country as an Enlightened Buddha, on the occasion of 38th World Tourism Day on Wednesday.

The marathon is being organized by Buddhist Circuits.com in association with National Tourism Foundation and Adventure Sports Tourism Society (ASTS).

Speaking at the program, Minister Dev lauded the efforts of the private sector in promoting Buddhist heritage sites through sports. “I am hopeful that the marathon will become a popular tourism and sporting event in the country,” he added.

Concluding the unveiling ceremony of the Lumbini Peace Marathon booklet by the tourism minister, the concept man and script writer of the marathon event, Mr Bikram Pandey KAJI, said that today’s unveiling of this booklet is to mark the celebration of World Tourism Day by us tourism players in Nepal. “This unveiling event will go to the world as a Greeting and Gift of World Tourism Day celebration from the Nepali side to the rest of the world.

This spiritual sports peace marathon kick-starts from Kudan crisscrossing Buddhist heritage sites on life of Buddha and land of three Buddhas, of Gotihawa, Buddha Ganga (Ban Ganga) River, Kapilvastu Fort and Tilaurakot Palace, and then embarks on Mother Mayadevi Maternity Route to Niglihawa, Arorakot and Dohani, and concludes on the Mayadevi Temple Sacred Garden. The marathon will have three categories: Olympic Standard (42.195 kilometers), Half Marathon (21 kilometers), and Student Run (5/7 km).

The winner will receive a purse of Rs 100,000, while the first and second runners-up will become richer by Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. The first prize has been named after Emperor Ashoka who confirmed that the present day Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha by erecting Ashokan Pillar. The second prize is dedicated to Chinese explorer Xuan Zang who visited Lumbini and Kaplivastu in the 7th Century and gave minute details of Lumbini and Kapilvastu Sakya Kingdom and Tilaurakot Palace in his travel account. It is because of his travel account that it could be possible to identify Kapivastu of Nepal as the real ancient Sakya Kingdom. Likewise, the third prize has been named after Former United Nations Secretary General Uthant who made a commitment in 1967 to develop Lumbini area as a sacred garden of haven. It is because of his contribution that we can see Lumbini Sacred Garden developed into the present form.

Commenting on Lumbini Peace Marathon event, Bikram Pandey KAJI of Buddhist Circuits.com, who conceived the event, said: “This event is our yet another effort to develop some new and innovative products for the Nepali tourism industry. It not only promotes Lumbini to the rest of the world, but also establishes Lumbini as the head start point in Buddhist Circuits map.”

Handicraft exports up by 13% in FY 2016/17

Export of Nepali handicraft products grew by 13 percent in the last fiscal year.

Nepali handicraftsExport of Nepali handicraft products grew by 13 percent in the last fiscal year.

The growth in exports was fueled mainly by higher demand for metal crafts, cotton goods, felt products, glass products and woolen goods from the international market, according to the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN).

According to the federation, Nepal exported Rs 5.4 billion worth of handicraft products in the last fiscal year, ending July 15. In the previous fiscal year, the country had exported handicraft products worth only Rs 4.8 billion.

There is high demand for Nepali in the United States, Europe and the Asia Pacific countries, officials of the federation said.

Felt products was Nepal’s largest handicraft exports in the review year. Export of felt products fetched the country Rs1.5 billion in 2016/17, up 38 percent compared to in 2015/16, followed by metal crafts (Rs 1.4 billion). Export of metal crafts grew by 10 percent in the last fiscal year compared to 2015/16, followed by woolen products (6 percent), and glass products (169 percent).

Export of glass products surged by 169 percent to Rs319.7 million in 2016/17 thanks mainly to huge demand for Nepali glass-made hookah.

However, exports of paper and pashmina products fell by 8 percent and 26 percent, respectively, to Rs429 million and Rs217 million in 2016/17.

The government is offering cash incentive equivalent to 2 percent of the value of exported goods having value addition of at least 30 percent. It is currently mulling over raising the incentive to 4 percent based on suggestions of the exporters.

 

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.