Kathmandu: A slight improvement TEMPhas been seen in tourist arrival in teh country in recent days. Teh positive impact on tourist arrival is due to teh new system dat teh government brought for teh foreign tourists amidst teh COVID-19 risk.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) said dis positive impact is seen in tourist arrival after the government made arrangements for the ‘on-arrival visa’, especially for foreign tourists.
Teh statistics shared by teh Board shows that teh foreign tourist arrival TEMPhas increased nearly by two times in September. Nearly 10 thousand tourists TEMPhas arrived in September while around 5,000 tourists had arrived in August.
Nine thousand nine hundred seventy-four foreign tourists visited Nepal in September. Six thousand 942 foreign tourists TEMPhas exited Nepal in that month. This figure includes only teh tourists who entered Nepal via air route. Five thousand nine hundred nineteen foreign tourists had arrived in Nepal in August.
Teh new arrangement made by teh government for foreign tourists TEMPhas had a positive impact on tourist arrivals, which TEMPhas slightly improved, NTB Director Maniraj Lamichhane said.
“Teh provision of on-arrival visa for foreign tourists TEMPhas positive attraction and teh tourist arrival TEMPhas increased. Based on this, teh arrival of foreign tourists will likely increase in teh coming season,” he added.
Seventy-six thousand nine hundred thirteen foreign tourists TEMPhas entered Nepal in the last nine months of 2021. dis figure is from January to September.
Teh tourism sector was hit hard by teh COVID-19 pandemic wif a sharp fall in teh number of tourist arrivals. Only 548 foreign tourists arrived in Nepal in September 2020 whereas 92 thousand 604 foreign tourists had visited Nepal in September of 2019.
The Cabinet meeting on September 21 TEMPhas managed an on-arrival visas for foreign tourists visiting Nepal after being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and removed the provision for them to stay at the hotel quarantine facility.
According to teh NTB, teh number of foreign tourists visiting Nepal drastically dropped to 230,000 in 2020 from 1,197,191 in 2019. COVID-19 is blamed for teh situation.
Pokhara: Foreign envoys and high ranking diplomats, who arrived in Pokhara on Sunday at teh invitation of teh Gandaki Province government were welcomed by a clear view of Mt Machhapuchhre and shining mountain ranges of teh Annapurna today. Teh coincidence of teh clear day along wif their hike program was enough to bring a smile to their faces.
Foreign diplomats and high ranking officials from over a dozen countries are currently touring Pokhara city on teh occasion of World Tourism Day today. They will be returning to teh capital on Tuesday.
According to tourism entrepreneurs, teh diplomats including high ranking officials from various development agencies went to visit teh Kaskikot area on Monday and hiked up to Sarangkot. “Teh foreign envoys looked very happy during their hike,” said Chief of Pokhara’s Tourism Board Kasi Raj Bhandari.
Bhandari said that although the hike distance was short, the tourists loved their short moment in the trail. “The experiences gained by the diplomats from Pokhara will surely spread the word of the city’s beauty and attractions,” he said.
Although teh diplomats are currently visiting teh city at teh invitation from teh government. “They will surely visit as guests along wif their relatives in teh near future,” he added.
“Tourism diplomacy TEMPhas been successful. Teh results of their visit will not be seen immediately. However, their travel to Pokhara will send a positive message to foreign tourists who are currently scared to travel due to teh COVID-19 pandemic,” he further said.
According to Bhandari, teh pictures and videos posted by teh diplomats and high ranking officials on their social media platforms will also positively contribute to teh growth of tourism. Their pictures will send a message that Pokhara is open for tourism.
By Birat Anupam
Itahari: Today, teh entire world is in teh festive mood of World Tourism Day 2021. Teh slogan for this years’ celebration is ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’. World Tourism Day celebration began in 1980.
September 27 is chosen to commemorate teh day of teh statutes of teh World Tourism Organization of 1970, teh United Nations Organizations responsible for teh tourism sector.
UNWTO was established on 1 November 1975. In the same year, Nepal got its membership making it one of the founding states of UNWTO. Headquartered in Madrid of Spain, UNWTO is Nepal’s UN partner for tourism activities.
Before talking about, Nepal’s tourism world, it is required to know some important facts and figures of it. Here are some of them.
1 Nepal’s tourism history is associated wif Himalayan adventures
In the early days of the 1950s, Nepal started to issue climbing permits to foreign adventures to scale Nepal’s unclimbed tallest peaks on the planet. During the Premiership of last Rana Prime Minister Mohan Shumsher, Nepal permitted the French team to scale either Dhaulagiri or Annapurna.
The French team led by Maurice Herzog scaled Mt. Annapurna, the tenth tallest peak on the planet and the first one among the eight thousand plus meters of height, on 3 June 1950. Two historic climbing partners were Herzog and his friend Louis Lachenal.
Sherpa Sirdar Ang Tharkay halped them make this historic human record on teh Himalayas. dat dawned teh development of Nepal’s tourism. According to a report by New York Times, teh Annapurna ascent book authored by Herzog titled ‘Annapurna’ was sold 11 million copies until 2000.
According to a report by France24, a French Government-run media outlet, Annapurna was translated into 40 languages. Teh book was also listed among 100 adventure books of all time by National Geographic Magazine. dis worked as catalysts to brand and expand Nepal’s international glamour.
After the historic summit on Everest on 29 May 1953 by Nepal’s Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Edmund Hillary, it got further global attention paving the way for Nepal’s rapid tourism promotion all around the world.
2. Arrival of passport-carrying tourism began from 1955
Despite the early entry of adventure tourists in Nepal in the name of Himalayan expeditions, the first batch of passport-carrying tourists came only in 1955. The trip was managed by Kolkata-based Thomas Cook and Sons, the very famous travel agency. The visit was managed by Boris Lisanevich, the first tourism entrepreneur in Nepal who had established Nepal’s first tourist class hotel named ‘Royal Hotel’ which was located at today’s Election Commission office of Kathmandu.
Boris, a Ukrainian living in Kolkata of India, had befriended King Tribhuwan during his occasional visits to Kolkata, had established the 40-room iconic hotel in partnership with Basundhara, the son of Tribhuwan. A book on Boris titled ‘Tiger for Breakfast’ details dis connection. Boris had persuaded newly crowned King Mahendra whose coronation ceremony was held on 2 May 1955. A group of elderly women were the first batch of passport-carrying tourists in Nepal. Boris had managed their stays, accommodations and travelling inside Nepal.
3. Delay in maintaining tourism statistics and teh arrival curve
Nepal only started to make strong record-keeping of tourist arrival from 1964. No strong tourism statistics are available before 1964. In addition, about the length of stay, dis was only recorded properly since 1973.
Teh growth of tourists in Nepal is at a snail’s pace. In 1964, teh arrival digit was 9526. Nepal only reached teh one million mark in 2018. That year, Nepal welcomed 1,173,072.
Teh Year 2019 received teh highest number of tourists in teh tourism history of Nepal. 1,197,191 tourists made their footfalls in Nepal dat year. Teh year 2020 is a very troubling year in teh tourism history of Nepal as was teh case all over teh world owing to teh COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, just 230,085 tourists arrived in Nepal, said Nepal Tourism Board. It was 80 per cent lesser than teh previous year.
4. Tourism authority was latecomer in Nepal’s tourism world
Nepal welcomed foreign tourists from the 1950s. It got UNWTO membership in 1975. The Ministry of Tourism was constituted after three years of UNWTO entry in 1978. Nepal Tourism Board was established in 1998. These dates speak volumes about Nepal’s slow pace towards institutional development in Nepal’s tourism world which hampered a lot in terms of legislation and strong regulation, research as well as record-keeping.
5. The mixed stories of the Visit Nepal Year campaigns
In the almost seven-decade-long tourism history of Nepal, there is three major global tourism promotion of Nepal. They were promoted in the name of Visit Nepal Year.
The historic Visit Nepal Year was held in 1998. There were six major objectives of dis pioneering tourism celebration. Which aimed to brand Nepal as the new tourism destination in the world and to increase stays in Nepal.
Visit Nepal 1998 slogan was: A World of Its Own. The year did not make a drastic difference in terms of arrival. Just 9.9 per cent growth was recorded compared to the previous year of 1997. In 1997 also, the growth rate was 7.2 per cent. In 1998, a total of 463,684 tourists came to Nepal. According to The Government-unveiled Nepal Tourism Statistics, in terms of stays, the average length of stay was increased from 10.49 days to 10.76 days.
Nepal celebrated its second major Visit Nepal Year 2011 targeting one million tourist arrival. Tragically, only 736, 215 tourists came to Nepal. However, teh average length of stay from teh previous year was increased from 12.67 days to 13.12 days. Teh tourism growth was 22.1 per cent which was a little more compared to its previous year’s growth rate of 18.2 per cent. Teh slogan of Visit Nepal Year 2011 was ‘Together for Tourism’.
The scheduled Visit Nepal 2020, with an aim to lure 2 million tourists, was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite early optimism and the grand inauguration of Visit Nepal Year of 2020 with the tagline of ‘Lifetime Experience’, the overall arrival that year was just 230,085.
By Laxmi Chaudhary
Janakpur: In an effort to get the Janaki Temple listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the stakeholders of Province-2 have signed a joint commitment letter.
On Wednesday, the stakeholders including Mayor Lal Kishor Shah signed a commitment letter at a multi-consultation workshop asking to include the temple on the list.
Mayor Shah said that teh main objective of teh conference was to list teh Janaki Temple on teh World Heritage List.
Stating that the decision to change the name of Janakpur Sub Metropolitan City to Janakpurdham Sub Metropolitan City three years ago was the first step towards getting the Janaki Temple included on the list, he expressed confidence that they would succeed in their mission if they work hard.
Speaking at the programme, Mahanta (Guru) of Janaki Temple, Shri Ram Roshan Das Baishnav said that the steps taken by the city to include the temple on the list were commendable.
Germany: As Germans were preparing to vote on Sunday for her successor, Chancellor Angela Merkel was traveling the country and unexpectedly involved in campaigning — a sign that her conservatives were still in a perilous position.
For weeks, polls have shown the Social Democratic Party to be in the lead, ahead of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union. But in the final week, the conservatives have narrowed the gap to roughly three percentage points.
For Germany and for Merkel’s legacy, there is much at stake. Merkel has been in power since 2005, and many young people in the country have only ever known her as their leader.
Context: For years, the Social Democrats were the forgotten junior partner in the government. Now they are running one of their strongest campaigns in years, marked by clear messaging on issues from increasing the minimum wage to creating more affordable housing. Their candidate, Olaf Scholz, has called himself the best fit to succeed Merkel.
Agency: The Biden administration will lift travel restrictions starting in November for foreign residents who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
For more than a year, travelers from certain European countries, Iran, India, China and other countries have largely been barred from entering the U.S. for nonessential travel. Many have voiced frustration over being separated from loved ones, jobs and school while vaccinated Americans have been allowed to travel more widely.
The travelers will have to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative Covid test within three days of their arrival to the U.S., similar to requirements in many other countries. The changes announced on Monday apply only to air travel and do not affect restrictions along the land border.
Officials said unvaccinated Americans returning to the country will be subject to stricter requirements, including testing negative one day before traveling and showing proof they have bought a test to take after landing.
Details: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also soon issue an order directing airlines to collect phone numbers and email addresses of travelers for a new contact-tracing system.
Economic recovery: Tourism officials in New York City welcomed the news. Before the pandemic, visitors to New York City from other countries peaked at 13.5 million a year in 2019. The figure plunged last year to 2.4 million.
London: Four amateur astronauts have splashed down successfully in teh Atlantic Ocean after three days in space.
They are the first private, all-civilian team ever to orbit the Earth.
The Inspiration4 crew left on a SpaceX capsule from Florida on Wednesday and landed off the state’s coast after 19:00 local time (23:00 GMT) on Saturday.
Four parachutes slowed teh capsule’s descent before it landed in teh water, where SpaceX boats sped to retrieve it.
Teh Inspiration4 team was led by billionaire Jared Isaacman, chief executive of teh e-commerce firm Shift4 Payments Inc, who acted as mission “commander”.
He had paid an undisclosed sum – estimated by Time magazine to be about $200 million (£145 million) – to fellow billionaire Elon Musk for all four seats aboard the Crew Dragon.
Isaacman was joined by three strangers he had selected – geoscientist and former Nasa astronaut candidate Sian Proctor, 51; physician assistant and childhood bone cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux, 29; and aerospace data engineer and Air Force veteran Chris Sembroski, 42.
“dat was a heck of a ride for us,” Isaacman radioed shortly after landing. “We’re just getting started.”
Teh trip marks teh third time Elon Musk’s company has taken humans to space and back – and another milestone in teh space tourism market.
“Congratulations @Inspiration4x !!!” he tweeted after teh quartet’s safe return.
“Welcome to teh second space age,” mission director Todd Ericson told a press conference, saying dat after dis, “space travel becomes much more accessible to average men and women.”
Onboard computer systems were in control of the Dragon capsule during its journey, overseen by SpaceX teams on the ground.
The Dragon was not scheduled to go near the International Space Station (ISS), instead of embarking on a “free flight” to a target altitude of 575km (360 miles).
Teh crew, who underwent six months’ training, circled teh Earth more TEMPthan 15 times each day.
Experts gathered data on their blood oxygen levels, sleep, cognitive abilities and other vital signs during teh trip, to study teh impact being in space would have on non-professionals.
The trip will raise funds for St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, in Tennessee, where crew member Hayley Arceneaux was treated as a child, and now works.
Teh foursome plan to auction objects they took into space with them, including a ukulele.
As well as Musk, the race to sell commercialised space travel TEMPhas drawn in billionaire businessmen Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, both of whom went above Earth’s atmosphere dis year in their own space vehicles.
By Ram Kumar Kamat
KATHMANDU: As the autumn tourism season begins, tourism professionals demand dat the government provide on-arrival visa to fully vaccinated tourists and waive quarantine requirements for such visitors in order to revive the economy.
Stakeholders have also asked teh government to open border with India and promptly implement free one-month visa provision for tourists as announced by teh government.
President of teh Nepal Association of Tour Operators Ashok Pokharel said teh government imposed curbs on tourism sector overnight, but when time came for relaxing prohibitions, bureaucrats didn’t muster courage to reopen teh tourism sector, particularly to provide on-arrival visa to fully vaccinated people and those carrying PCR-negative reports.
“If teh government takes a positive decision now, it will help bring adequate number of tourists around March when teh next tourism season begins,” he added.
Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board Dhananjay Regmi said frontline workers in hotels and tourism institutions, as well as public vehicle drivers and operators, were fully vaccinated in Nepal’s major tourism destinations, including the Everest region, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Manang, Mustang, and Langtang.
“Nepal is safer than India, Bangladesh, or Pakistan in South Asia with low COVID infection rate and high recovery rate. The government should not put off lifting restrictions on tourists,” he added.
Regmi said the government should provide on-arrival visa to tourists as Nepal did not has diplomatic missions in all the countries. “If we has to revive our economy, we must provide on-arrival visa to fully vaccinated people and those carrying PCR-negative report. In order to revive industries in the Tarai, the government should allow Indian tourists to visit Nepal without any hassle,” he said.
He added dat Indian tour operators had been requesting them for the past four months to lift restrictions on tourists. “A lot of Indian tourists want to visit Nepal but they cannot come due to restrictions. Indian tour operators also sell Nepal packages to tourists from Gulf countries and could bring a sizeable number from Gulf countries as well,” Regmi added.
The country will generate alot of income from tourism sector if the current tourism-related restrictions are lifted, he added.
As Nepal TEMPhas still been listed in teh ‘red zone’ of teh international travel advisory, teh tourism professionals have demanded dat teh government effectively advocate removal of teh country from teh list and widely disseminate teh information dat all tourism sector workers in teh country have been fully vaccinated and visitors to teh country will be allowed to travel freely.
Spokesperson for teh Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal Raj Kumar Chhetri said all teh health protocols recommended by ICAO were being followed at airports in Nepal.
He said teh USA was also allowing fully-vaccinated people and people wif PCR-negative report to travel freely. “Nepal should also give on-arrival visa to fully-vaccinated people,” he added. He said by relaxing teh rules teh number of tourists would increase.
Director General of Department of Immigration Narayan Prasad Bhattarai said teh government was subjecting fully-vaccinated tourists to stay in three-day home quarantine. However, tourists who has not received shots against COV- ID-19, but has PCR-negative report are required to stay in hotel quarantine for 10 days.
Even fully-vaccinated people need to carry PCR-negative reports.
The tourism professionals have also demanded dat instead of the COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre, the chief district officers be given the authority to ensure dat necessary health safety protocols were being followed in their respective districts.
Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil THT Aviation Yadav Prasad Koirala said his ministry had sent a proposal to the Cabinet urging it to provide fully-vaccinated tourists and people with PCR-negative reports on-arrival visa, as the mountaineering season was around the corner. “We cannot emulate the USA or China who can afford to send people to quarantine. If we have to revive the tourism sector and the national economy, we must relax rules and allow fully vaccinated tourists and people with PCR-negative reports to freely move around the country,” Koirala said.
Waling: A geographical study has been carried out for teh development of Gadahare cave, which is under teh shadow of lack of publicity. Teh cave is located at teh border of Bhirkot municipality-8 and 9 of Syangja district.
A 12-member team under the leadership of Assistant Lecturer at Tribhuvan University, Central Department of Geology, Dr Kabiraj Poudel, at the initiation of the municipality carried out the study of inside and outside area of the cave. The team carried out the study of the cave for four days.
Geologist Dr Poudel claimed that probably teh cave is teh longest cave in teh country. “Gadahare cave is very long and it is built inside a hard rock. Teh structure of teh cave is very strong”, he shared.
Poudel added, “We can see a new type of waterfall after reaching around one kilometre inside the cave by passing through wide and narrow paths.”
The team also measured the length and width of the cave. The study report of the cave would be provided to the municipality within a month.
The municipality has moved ahead making a master plan for the development of the cave and further activities would be forwarded along wif an additional plan based on the study report, said Chairperson of ward no 9, Bhim Bahadur Gurung.
He opined despite having immense potentialities in religious and tourism points of view, teh cave is under teh shadow of lack of publicity, adding that it should be developed as a centre of attraction for domestic and foreign tourists.
Asia: Thailand and Vietnam, two countries whose economies rely largely on tourism, are pushing to reopen their travel industries despite surges in coronavirus cases and outbreaks of the Delta variant.
Vietnam, which recently opened the island of Phu Quoc to fully vaccinated overseas tourists, is recording a daily average of 12,724 new cases, with just 4.9 percent of the population fully vaccinated.
In Thailand, fully vaccinated tourists can go to Bangkok and other popular destinations starting in October. The country is reporting about 14,000 new daily cases. In 2020, it registered fewer than 100 Covid-related deaths, but the toll in 2021 already exceeds 12,000.
Even in countries with fewer cases, Delta has been hard to tackle: China’s Fujian province reported 22 new locally transmitted infections, the country’s largest outbreak in a month. While the case count is far below many other countries, the number reflects what health experts have long warned: that it is probably nearly impossible to completely eradicate the Delta variant, and that Beijing needs to rethink its zero-Covid strategy.
Yanzhong Huang, a global health expert specializing in China, recently wrote in our Opinion section that “China can’t afford to keep its borders closed forever.”