Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) together with GoN/UNDP/MEDEP and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) organized a five-day cook and home stay and public lodge management training for locals of six VDCs in Parbat and Myagdi districts.
The training was organized from December 20-24 at Nangi of Myagdi district. Locals of Dandakateri and Baskharka of Parbat and Histan, Mahare, Khiwang and Nangi villages of Myagdi participated in the training. TAAN and National Institute of Food Studies and Operation (NIFSO) had arranged resource persons for the training.
The training was organized to empower local community to run community lodges built in the support of GoN/UNDP/MEDEP, TAAN and NTB. These three organizations had earlier explored trekking routes in three districts – Myagdi, Parbat and Baglung.
The training was organized in collaboration with Mahabir Pun Trust (Himanchal Higher Secondary School).
TAAN holds special AGM
Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) held its extra ordinary general body meeting on December 29. The extra ordinary general body meeting was organized after its annual general meeting held on October 12 was put off in the lack of necessary quorum.
The meeting endorsed TAAN's annual report for fiscal year 2009/10 presented by General Secretary Rajendra Bajgain and financial report for 2009/10 presented by Treasurer Khum Bahadur Subedi. It also named auditor and fixed his remuneration for fiscal year 2010/11.
The meeting also held discussion on the role of trekking sector for the success of Nepal Tourism Year 2011. Members of TAAN suggested the executive committee to utilize funds collected from Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) to explore new routes, maintain trekking trails and destination promotion along with enhancing the quality of our tourism products and services.
NTY torch to be taken to Ama Dablam summit
Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) has decided to take the torch of Nepal Tourism Year (NTY) 2011 campaign to the summit of Mt Ama Dablam.
At a press meet recently organized at NMA secretariat, NMA President Zimba Zangbu Sherpa said the 10-member Nepal Tourism Year 2011 Torch Expediton to Amadablam will take the torch to the summit of the 6812m peak on January 14, coinciding with the formal launch of the campaign.
The ceremony will be broadcast live at Dasharath Stadium where the formal launch of Nepal Tourism Year 2011 is being held. The government has waived permit fee for the mountaineers.
Travel trade associations like Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal and Himalayan Rescue Association are also supporting the expedition.
Tourist arrivals rise by 18 pc in 2010
The number of foreign visitors entering the country via air in the year 2010 increased by 18.3 percent as compared to the arrival figures of a year earlier. According to Immigration Office at Tribhuvan International Airport, a total of 448,769 foreign visitors entered the country in 2010. The number is nearly half of the target that the country has set for Nepal Tourism Year 2011 campaign.
Arrivals from India, which contributed over one-fourth of the arrivals in 2010, grew by 20.5 percent. A total of 104,470 Indian visitors entered the country via air during the air. Similarly, arrivals from the SAARC region recorded a robust growth of 24.7 percent to 130,795. The Asia segment (excluding South Asia) recorded the growth of 17.7 percent to 83,396.
Overall arrivals from Europe recorded a growth of 14.4 percent to 138,724.
Arrivals in the month of December recorded a rise of 15.7 percent as compared to arrival figures recorded during the same period last year. Growth in December was contributed by strong surge in arrivals from India (19.5 percent), Bangladesh (42.4 percent), Pakistan (94.3 percent) and Sri Lanka (14.8 percent).
Similarly, arrivals from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and South Korea in December recorded a positive growth of 41 percent, 26.4 percent 4.4 percent and 22.3 percent respectively. However, tourist arrivals from Japan declined by 0.4 percent.
Arrivals from Europe also recorded a marginal decline of 0.2 percent in December. However, arrivals from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA recorded positive growth of 8.5 percent, 57.9 percent, 1.2 percent and 14.4 percent respectively.
Nepal Tourism Year begins
Marking the beginning Nepal Tourism Year, Nepal Tourism Board amidst a function on January 1 welcomed tourists at Tribhuvan International Airport.
NTB along with government officials and representatives of different travel trade associations gifted tourists with white scarf and a post-card of Mt Everest undersigned by Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari.
The government had inaugurated new gate at TIA along with a sterile zone on the eve of the campaign on December 31.
The official inauguration of NTY 2011 is scheduled for January 14 at Dasharath Stadium in the capital.
With the beginning of Nepal Tourism Year (NTY) 2011, tourism promotional activities have begun at major tourist destinations outside the capital.
Tourism entrepreneurs in Pokhara have unveiled different activities to be carried out in the lake city during the tourism year. Biplav Poudel, western regional coordinator of the NTY implementation committee, launched the activities, which include opening an information counter at Pokhara airport, celebrating mountaineering day, publication of an information directory, organizing tourism festivals and cleaning up Fewa Lake. Similarly, Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) Pokhara chapter is promotional activities including Kaligandaki Valley promotional trek, exploration of the Dhaulagiri trekking route and mapping of Kathmandu-Pokhara route.
Similarly, the Gandaki chapter of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATA) is launching a promotional tour in different countries including close neighbors India and China and some countries in East Asia. It is also conducting trainings for tour guides and cabbies and sight seeing. The Pokhara Chapter of Restaurant and Bar Association (REBAN) has decided to organize street festival every month throughout the year.
Tourism entrepreneurs in Pokhara have set a target of bringing in more than 500,000 visitors to the lake city in 2001.
Similarly, tourism entrepreneurs in Chitwan welcomed 58 tourists including six foreigners at Bharatpur airport on January 1.
Activities were organized in various parts of the country to mark the first day of Nepal Tourism Year 2011 campaign.
UNWTO boss to attend NTY launch
Secretary General of UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Taleb Rifai is among the international dignitaries that have confirmed their participation for the inauguration of Nepal Tourism Year 2011 campaign to be held at Dasharath Stadium on Jan 14.
According to Nepal Tourism Board, tourism ministers of SAARC member countries and secretary of Cambodian Tourism Ministry have also confirmed their participation, while tourism ministers of Japan and China have expressed their interest to attend the gala event. The government has invited tourism ministers of 24 Asian nations for the event.
SAARC tourism secretaries are scheduled to arrive on Jan 11 to participate in the extensive joint secretary level meeting of the SAARC Tourism Working Committee. They are set to discuss on the problems and barriers confronting tourism promotion.
The SAARC inter-government body will discuss the possibility of launching joint marketing campaigns, softening visa regime, giving access to cross-border driving licenses and increasing inter-SAARC movement by air by the national flag carrier of each country.
Discussion on TAAN's role for NTY's success organized
The international relations department of Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) recently organized a discussion program with the office-bearers of its previous executive committees on the role of the association for the success of Nepal Tourism Year 2011.
Speaking on the occasion, former president of TAAN Yankila Sherpa suggested forming a pressure group comprising representatives of all tourism associations under the leadership of TAAN. "This will help put forward the voice of industry people in an effective manner," she added. Sherpa, who is also a former tourism minister, also suggested opening all border peaks to attract more expedition teams during the year. She also suggested members of the department to foster cordial relations with diplomatic missions stationed in Kathmandu and address concerns raised by them. Sherpa also suggested establishing relations with travel trade associations of neighboring countries and promoting NTY 2011 through sharing of knowledge and ideas.
Former president Deepak Mahat suggested TAAN to study the functioning of tourism associations in neighboring countries and revamp TAAN's international relations department accordingly. "TAAN, especially the member of the international relations department, should establish friendly relations with embassies and diplomatic missions. This will not only help streamline our promotional initiatives but will also help in addressing their concerns related to security situation here," he added.
The participants also called on the government to revise the definition of restricted areas as it has been creating problems for them in handling groups. They also suggested issuing trekking permits in controlled areas by the tourism ministry itself. The senior trekking entrepreneurs also suggested the government to open up all areas as people in controlled areas have been deprived from income opportunities.
The discussion was moderated by Kul Bahadur Gurung, coordinator of TAAN's international relations department. TAAN office-bearers, executive members and members of international relations department also participated in the discussion.