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.


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.


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.