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NTB CEO Deepak Raj Joshi awards the first prize winner during the inauguration of #photoNepal in Kathmandu on Thursday.

The three-day #photoNepal photography exhibition began in Kathmandu from Friday.

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) CEO Deepak Raj Joshi inaugurated the expo amid a function organized in NTB on Thursday.

The exhibition is being organized by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) as part of its efforts to promote tourism among both Nepalis and foreign visitors. The expo is organized in the first weekend of English calendar on different themes. The March session of #photoNepal is being organized in coordination with Facebook group Nepalese in Photography which has more than 200,000 members.

Speaking at the program, CEO Joshi said he was pleased to note that general people were helping in promotion of tourism products and services through products like this. “We are also taking the expo out of Kathmandu. #photoNepal has already been organized in Biratnagar. Preparations are underway to organize the expo in Panauti and Pokhara,” Joshi added.

Joshi also awarded top three photographs submitted in ‘Nepalese in Photography’ Facebook group.

Photograph of Kalinchowk taken by Rajiv Kapali won the first prize, while the photographs of Kulekhani taken by Bijay Gurung and Namche Bazar taken by Sabrina Dangol won second and third prize, respectively.

Talking about the expo, Sudhan Subedi, senior officer of NTB, said the main objective of the expo was to promote Nepal through photographs. “For this session, we asked the members of ‘Nepalese in Photography’ what Ghumphir is for them. And they have responded to our question with beautiful photographs. We have selected 60 photographs from thousands of entries,” he added. “Increasing visitors’ footfall shows that the expo is becoming popular. We are getting photographs of tourism attractions from throughout the country.”

An interaction with journalist Kunda Dixit, and a special show of documentary ‘Helicopter Rescuer in the Himalaya’ will be organized on Sunday as part of the exhibition, according to Subedi.

(All photos by Nepalese In Photography)

#photoNepal

#photoNepal

Deepak Raj Joshi

Deepak Raj Joshi (File Photo)

Deepak Raj Joshi has been appointed as the new CEO of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

A meeting of board of directors of the national tourism organization selected Joshi on Thursday.

A selection sub-committee led by NTB Board Member Ghanendra Shrestha had recommended Joshi as well as Gyaneshwor Mahato and Gyanendra Lal Pradhan for the post on Tuesday.

The three names were selected following interview of presentation of 12 candidates who were shortlisted four years ago.

Joshi is as a senior officer at NTB.
THe post of CEO had been lying vacant after Prachanda Man Shrestha retired from the post four years ago.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Kripasur Sherpa has said that efforts should be made to bring tourism, which suffered severe setback due to the devastating earthquake of April 25, back on track from the autumn season which begins in September.

Inaugurating an interaction on ‘Role of Stakeholders and Media in Tourism Recovery’ organized in Kathmandu on Wednesday by IMAGE NEPAL – bi-monthly international travel magazine to celebrate its 27th anniversary, Sherpa said both the government, private sector and mass media should work in tandem for early tourism recovery. “Media has a greater role to play in tourism recovery as we need to disseminate positive messages about Nepal to our major markets,” he added.

Similarly, Tourism Secretary Suresh Man Shrestha said the government’s policy and programs for 2015/16 unveiled on Wednesday has prioritized tourism sector. “The focus of the new policy and programs is infrastructure development,” he said, adding that the ministry has been focusing on organizing fam trips of media and celebrity to Nepal.

On the occasion, Minister Sherpa honored tourism entrepreneurs Ambica Shrestha, Tek Chandra Pokharel, Ang Tshering Sherpa, Chhabi Phuyal, Rajan Simkhada and Kami Sherpa as well as the magazine’s long serving employees Kishor Man Singh Basnyat and Bishnu Bhattarai.

Speaking at the program, Hari Raj Joshi, editor of IMAGE NEPAL, said the tourism industry should treat tourism-based media as their partners and extend necessary support and cooperation accordingly.

Chief Administrator of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Ramesh Kumar Adhikari suggested tourism entrepreneurs to devise innovative programs to engage foreign tourists. Similarly, Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) President Ramesh Prasad Dhamala said the ministry should devise programs and policies for the tourism industry in consultation with travel trade associations. “It would be unfortunate for the tourism industry if leading travel trade associations are overlooked,” he added.

Young entrepreneur Rajan Simkhada said the government should put focus on infrastructure development to bring more tourists. “We have comparative advantage over our neighbors in terms of tourism. We have raw materials (for tourism) throughout the country, we only need to exploit our potentials,” he added.

Similarly, Ang Tshering Sherpa of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) said the government should focus on promotion of adventure tourism. DB Limbu, coordinator of Joint Tourism Coordination Committee, and Devi Prasad Pant, president of Journalists Association for Tourism-Nepal also spoke on the occasion.

Image Nepal Publications group currently publishes four publications —  IMAGE Nepal bi-monthly, TOURISM NEWS DIGEST – fortnightly, TND Yellow Pages and Kathmandu City Map.

CASES ALSO FILED AGAINST TWO GOVT SECRETARIES

Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Friday filed corruption case against 23 persons, including two government secretaries and acting CEO of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Subash Nirola, after finding their involvement in financial irregularities worth around Rs 700 million in NTB.

Along with Nirola, CIAA has filed case against Sharad Chandra Poudel, secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Land Conservation; Ranjan Krishna Aryal, secretary of the Law Commission; Dilli Prasad Shivakoti, joint secretary of the Ministry of Finance; Megh Bahadur Pandey, joint secretary of Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation; and Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, director general of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

Finance Secretary, Forest Secretary and CAAN DG are ex-officio members in NTB’s executive committee.

As per the existing laws, government officials are automatically suspended once corruption case if filed against them.

Similarly, cases have also been filed against Sushil Ghimire, former tourism secretary and former chairman of executive committee of NTB, executive committee members as well as NTB staffers.

In its charge sheet, CIAA has claimed Nirola was involved in irregularities worth Rs 330 million.

CIAA officials had reached the Special Court premises to register the case on Thursday. But Special Court officials asked them to come on Friday, citing end of office hours.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) had suspended Nirola on October 26 as per the direction of the Public Accounts Committee of legislature-parliament.

According to news reports, cases have been filed against NTB’s Acting CEO Nandini Lahe Thapa, Senior Director Aditya Baral,  directors Hikma Singh Ayer and Kashi Raj Bhandari; Officiating Director Dhruba Rai, senior manager Diwakar Rana, managers Leela Bahadur Baniya and other staff members like Anil Kumar Das and Laxman Gautam among others.

Tourist arrivals to Nepal via air dropped by a marginal 0.3 percent to 585,981 in 2014 compared to figures of a year.

This is the second straight year that Nepal has witnessed fewer tourist arrivals via aerial route. In 2013, tourist arrivals had dropped by 1.73 percent to 587,842. Number of tourists in 2012, however, had increased by 9.8 percent to 598.204.

Drop in tourist arrivals have been blamed to the impacts of avalanche in the Everest region in April and blizzards in the Annapurna Region in October. Similarly, closure of casinos and travel advisory to European visitors by the European Commission not to use Nepali airlines also affected tourist arrivals, according to tourism entrepreneurs.

Issuing a statement, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) said Nepal observed a sustained growth in international tourist arrivals in January, February, April and May but suffered a fall from June onwards. “The decline suggests that Nepal needs to promote its tourism products in the international market more aggressively in order to increase tourist arrivals,” the statement added.

Arrivals from India increased by fell by 35.46 percent to 105,283. However, number of tourists from China increased by 17.86 percent to 71,107 in 2014.

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