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Dhaulagiri Icefall Trekking

Construction of the Dhaulagiri Icefall foot trail linking nine Himalayan VDCs in Myagdi with Mustang has been completed.

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Foreign tourists have suddenly started to cancel visits at a time when domestic and foreign investment in the tourism sector has been rising. Different countries have issued travel advisory urging their citizens to not visit Nepal and exercise caution if they have to due to the latest vandalism inside the Constituent Assembly (CA) Hall, escalating political conflict and strikes.

The tourism sector is feeling direct impact of the deepening political uncertainty with the CA failing to deliver the constitution. Entrepreneurs concerned say bookings are being cancelled due to negative coverage of Nepal with a series of strikes called targeting the January 22 deadline to issue the constitution. They reveal that 20 percent of tourists have cancelled bookings for hotels, trekking and travel. Similarly, even the tourists already in Nepal have started to return home shortening their stay.

Tourism entrepreneurs are worried due to this sudden gloom at a time when the sector has been receiving significant investment since the last year. They are concerned that it will have direct impact in the upcoming season. “We have received reports about up to 20 percent of booking cancellation. This will have a big impact on tourism,” Senior Vice-president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Pashupati Murarka says.

President of the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) DB Limbu, who saw cancellation of three big foreign groups, warns of huge loss in the next season if the political impasse were not settled. President of the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) Ramesh Dhamala says those wishing to visit Nepal have started to cancel their trip as the latest vandalism in the CA Hall and during the strike was widely covered by the international media. “Even those coming for trekking and to visit many areas have started to return back shortening their trips,” he adds. First Vice President of the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) Amar Man Shakya says tourist arrival is being affected as the recent spate of strikes has created a frightening environment. “Nepal is now known internationally as an unsafe place. The tourism sector, that was improving only recently, will again suffer,” he rues.

Three European groups have cancelled booking at five-star Shangrila Hotel on Wednesday. “Bookings of big groups were cancelled a few days ago as well. We again will have to face disappointment when the hopes were rising,” General Manager of Shangrila Raju Bikram Shah says. He adds that the Nepali tourism sector, that had teetered after the Nepali aviation sector was blacklisted by the European Union, will be hit hard by this recent blow.

European and American countries have issued travel advisory urging their citizens to not travel to Nepal until the end of political transition. Countries like America, Britain, Australia and Canada have advised their citizens to exercise caution if they have to visit Nepal. American and European tourists are among the highest spending tourists visiting Nepal while they also stay here longer. NATTA President Limbu says high-end tourists have started to choose other destinations following instability in Nepal.

Source: Karobaar Daily

Annapurna Biking Nepal

Chinese cyclist Yang Wen has gone missing in the mid-western region of Nepal.

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Fall in the frequency of strikes and other disruptive activities has had a positive impact on tourism sector with the tourists also showing interest to visit Nepal following the second Constituent Assembly (CA) election.

There has been enthusiastic booking for this year’s tourist season, according to the tourism entrepreneurs. Up to 90 percent of hotel rooms have been booked as the main tourist season starts, while almost all the international air tickets to Nepal have been booked. Likewise, booking for tour and trekking companies has also increased by 15 percent. The three months after September until Christmas and New Year of the Gregorian Calendar is considered to be the major tourist season in Nepal—the months of March, April and May the second season—with the majority of tourists coming for trekking. Tourism entrepreneurs are hopeful of a rise in tourist arrival, that had fallen by 1.7 percent in the last year, due to the improved booking this year.

General Secretary of the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) Binayak Shah says 90 percent of booking has been done for star and tourist level hotels and resorts, and claims that the remaining 10 percent will be used by Indian and Chinese tourists who visit for a short period of time. “Booking is better than last year. This has further boosted tourism potential of Nepal,” he adds. He feels booking has increased at a high rate also as the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent positive message across the world.

Booking was not even 50 percent for the last season. The entrepreneurs deflated after that have been ecstatic following this season’s booking. “Booking for trekking had fallen significantly in the last season. It has increased by 15 percent this year,” President of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) Ramesh Dhamala says. “The tourists suffer during the main season due to the problem of airline companies. Tourist arrival will easily rise to 1.50 million if we can make the national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) stronger,” he claims.

Former president of the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) and promoter of Gandaki Travel Agency Ramkaji Kone says booking for even the next year’s season has started despite the shambolic state of the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). “Not even the hotel rooms in Pokhara are unoccupied. Booking would have been better had the NTB organized promotional programs in India and China,” he adds.

Nepal Tourism

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) joined hands with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) and other travel trade associations to celebrate World Tourism Day 2014 on Saturday.

A rally was taken out from Tridevi Marg in Thamel early on Saturday morning. The rally saw participation of Tourism secretary Suresh Man Shrestha and other high level officials of the tourism ministry, officials of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), President Ramesh Prasad Dhamala and executive committee members of TAAN, member agencies of TAAN and representatives of other travel trade associations, and media persons, among others. The theme for World Tourism Day 2014 celebration was ‘Tourism and Community Development’.

Participants of the rally wore caps, T-shirts and carried banners depicting messages like ‘Tourism for Community Development’ and ‘Nepal for all Seasons’ among others.The rally started from Tridevi Marg and passed through Durbarmarg, Bhadrakali Temple, Shahid Gate before converging into a corner meet at Basantapur.

Meanwhile, tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara and Nepalgunj also welcomed tourists landing at the respective airports amid a colorful ceremony.

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A four-day ‘Basic Journalism and Photography Training for Trekking Guides’ concluded on Thursday.

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A four-day ‘Basic Journalism and Photography Training for Trekking Guides’ kicked off at TAAN Secretariat in Maligaun on Sunday.