Explore Himalaya participated in Ferien-Messe Wien/Holiday Fair Vienna, the largest holiday and travel show in Austria from 10 to 13 January 2019. Considered as one of the leading Travel Fairs in Europe being organized for 43 years, this year’s fair had altogether 800 exhibitors from more than 80 countries. The Fair was visited by 155,322 visitors (an increase of 1.4% on the previous year), so far the highest number in the history of the Event. This year’s partner country and partner region of Ferien-Messe Wien were Indonesia and Burgenland respectively.
The four days’ Fair was considered as an eventful show where the exhibitors presented their countries’ holiday regions along with their natural, cultural and historical uniqueness. The exhibitors got the opportunity to share a huge information platform with the travel communities from different parts of Europe. Anuj Pandey, the General Manager of Explore Himalaya, who represented the Company said, “We, as an exhibitor (stand no. A 0125), benefited immensely from the Event. Beside building up a wide contact base of our potential partners and customers, we were also successful in promoting Nepal as a rewarding destination.” Nepal Tourism Board also took part in the Event for the first time.
The Event was deemed very successful as 88.8 percent of the total visitors said they had benefited from the visit, 92.2 percent rated the fair offer as complete and almost all of them recommended the trade fair. The Fair ended with the announcement of Dominican Republic being the partner country for Ferien-Messe Wien 2020.
Chhaya Center, considered as Nepal’s biggest and most luxurious Shopping Complex, was formally inaugurated on 25th December in Thamel by Member of Parliament Yogesh Bhattarai. Welcoming the ceremony, Prithivi Bahadur Pandey, the Chairman of Chhaya Complex, highlighted on the facilities of the Complex and extended gratitude to all contributors involved in the completion of the Complex. Among the dignitaries who addressed the ceremony were Samir Gurung, President of Thamel Tourism Council and Khem Tiwari, Chairman of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Ward-26.
During the program, Chief Guest Bhattarai said that Nepal needs more initiation like Chhaya Center for the tourism sector to grow further. Highlighting the prospect of the Complex, Chairman Pandey said, “Since Nepal has immense possibility for tourism development, we are operating a model shopping complex with five star hotels.” He further added that Chhaya Center will prove to be a significant initiation from private sector to promote Nepali tourism. Suman Pandey, the Director of Chhaya Center, said that Chhaya Center is a unique infrastructure dedicated to support the tourism economy of Nepal and it will also support the 2020 mission of Nepal Government to welcome 2 million tourists.
Spread over an area of 86000 sq ft., Chhaya Center is a multi-faceted Mega Complex, housing 200 retail stores, three multiplex theatres, Corporate Offices, Banquet Center, Conference Halls, Casino, Discotheque, Food Court etc. About 100 stores are already open for business along with the QFX cinema and food court. The major attraction of the complex is “The Aloft”, the first five star Hotel in Thamel. The hotel that runs from 5th to 15th floor will open from March 2019. Themed as “Thamel within Thamel”, the construction of the Complex was started in 2013 and delayed by a year to complete due to earthquake. The Complex is promoted by a group of Nepali entrepreneurs representing various sectors including Banking, Real Estate, Construction, Energy, Trading & Consultancy and Tourism & Aviation. The Center, that is expected to be a tourism hub of Kathmandu, has been built at a cost of around Rs five billion.
Nepal has achieved an unprecedented success in receiving tourists in 2018 with a record of 1,001,930 arrivals between January-November. According to Nepal Tourism Board, the month September alone has the record of 91, 820 visitors, a 33.8 percent increase compared to last year! The tourism arrival got the momentum throughout the peak tourist season between October-November. However, the total count doesn’t include overland visitors, which would have further increased the figure. India became the top source market with 260,124 visitors followed by China with a total of 134,362 Chinese tourist arrivals. The United States, Britain and Germany were enlisted as third, fourth and fifth source countries respectively.
“The growth can be attributed to concerted efforts of Government of Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board, private sector travel trade and media towards promotion of overall tourism sector in the international tourism arena,” said Deepak Raj Joshi, Chief Executive Officer of Nepali Tourism Board. Tourism industry of Nepal considers the record as crucial in Nepal’s tourism history as it indicates a brighter future to further realize the tourism potentials ahead of Visit Nepal Tourism Year 2020. Nepal had the record 940,218 tourist arrivals in 2017.
By Ingita Dangol, EH Sales Department
“When you leave the comfort of your home and home country to engage in volunteer project in Nepal where your help is greatly needed, it will have a deep impact on you as well as the local people life also. Sometimes we forget how privileged we really are. We complain about our daily lives, health, education, work but when you spend time in a local community of Nepal that has significantly less than you do and is struggling in different ways, you might realize that your problems aren’t all that bad.” – CKY Student Group, Helambu Circuit Trek
As previous year, Explore Himalaya Travel & Adventure of Nepal in partnership with Travel Adviser (Hongkong) once again operated 6 nights/7 days Full Camping Trek of Helambu Circuit from 25th Nov to 01st Dec 2018. The trek which included 16 students and 3 teachers of CKY School of Hong Kong had the objective to explore the rural communities and discover the natural beauty of Nepal. The group had a whole week of fun and adventure. However, the students also wanted to make the trek purposeful. They donated medicine to the local health post and educational equipment to the local schools. At every donation point, the group was warmly welcomed and cheered by teachers, students, health practitioners and local people. The trek started their Helambu Circuit Trek from Sundarijal, north of Kathmandu valley and ended at Kiul.
A brief outlook on the group’s daily activities is as follows:
Day 1: Drive to Sundarijal and Trek to Chisapani (2054 m) – around 5 hours
At around 8:30 am, the group departed from Hotel Shangrila to Sundarijal. The groups reached Sundarijal, their trek starting point at 10 am. The first two hours was a bit strenuous due to a steep uphill path which looked like never ending. Everybody took lots of short rests during the first few hours. On the way, they passed through Shivapuri National Park. It took them around 5 hours to reach at Chisapani.
Day 2: Trek to Golfu Bhanjyang (2142m) – 6/7 hours
The trek continued through the refreshing forested area and beautiful settlements to Chipling village for lunch. After lunch, it continued to Golfu Bhanjyang for overnight camp.
Day 3: Trek to Manginggoth (3285m) – 8 hours
Early in the morning after breakfast, the trek started. Before lunch which they had at Khutumsang, there was a short program held at Khutumsang Health Post where the group donated medical supplies and had short briefing about health post. Later on, the group visited Himalayan Primary School where they conducted events like Hungry Hippo, football and paper airplane. During these event, the group got mixed with local students and enjoyed their moment together.
Day 4: Trek to Melamchi Gynag (3300m) via Tharepati (3685m) – 7 hours
Early morning, the group went for a 3 hours’ trek to Tharepati from where the magnificent mountain ranges could be seen. After lunch at Tharepati, they hiked down to Melamchi Gyang where they stayed for overnight.
Day 5: Trek to Malerepo – 4 hours
Before they moved towards Malerepo, the student group visited Melamchi Gyang Secondary School and donated stationery, sports materials and medicine to the Headmaster of the school. After lunch, they headed to Melerepo.
Day 6: Trek to Kiul – 5 hours
After breakfast, the group trekked to Kiul where they had a short program at Shree Bhumeshori Secondary School. They donated stationary and sports materials to the students and had a short briefing about their goals. Later on, the group spent some moments together with the local students by playing and dancing.
Day 7: Drive back to Kathmandu from Kiul – 4 hours and International Departure
After early morning breakfast, the group headed towards Kathmandu by bus. On reaching Kathmandu, the group had a sightseeing tour to Kathmandu Durbar Square. They also had refreshment and lunch program at Hotel Marshyangdi. After lunch the group explored Thamel Bazaar for shopping and hunting souvenir and gifts to their friends and family. Finally, a week of adventure was wrapped up with a candle light dinner at Hotel Shangrila, where the group had a short review session with the members and the staffs of Explore Himalaya. This was one of the best parts of their trip, where they got to share their words and daily experiences. All of them expressed their gratitude to Explore Himalaya for arranging such a meaningful trek for them and expressed their hope to get such opportunities in upcoming days.
Everest Skydive, world’s most adventurous aerial event, organized its 13th edition on 16th and 17th November 2018 at Syangboche (3780m/12400ft), a small plateau at the base of Mt. Khumbila. The two days’ event had two solo and two tandem jumpers from Indonesia, UK and Nepal. The first day’s jump started with clear blue skies at scheduled time. The first lift, which was done by AS350 B3 chopper flown by Captain Eric from Summit Heli, took place at 10:00 am local time. The lift had two solo jumpers Christopher David Ings (Britain) and Naila Novaranti (Indonesia); and two camera flyers Wendy Smith (New Zealand) and Paul Henry (France). After reaching the height of 19000ft, the members jumped off the chopper with Everest and other beautiful peaks in the backdrop. After the most exhilarating free fall, the jump concluded with terrific landing on Syangboche airstrip at 10:23 am local time. After the first lift, the jumps had to be pulled off due to poor weather condition.
The next day, the jump started at 7:35 local time with the same crew and jump members but this time they had high-jump from the altitude of 20000ft. Both jumpers had spectacular touchdown at 8:00 am. Due to inclement weather on the second day also, rest of the jumps including tandem jumps, wing suit jumps and Amadablam jump were cancelled which brought the event to a close for this year. Considered as one of the most thrilling skydiving adventures in the world, the event was also particularly unique because of the two days’ exciting trek to Namche and a short uphill climb to the dropzone the jumpers had to do before their most anticipated jumps. Both skydivers Christopher David Ings and Naila Novaranti expressed their whole experience as the one nothing can beat! Now the whole Everest Skydive team is heading for Pokhara for Pokhara Skydive 2018, another splendid skydiving adventure in the Himalayas.
*Everest Skydive is an exclusive annual event of Explore Himalaya!