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.
Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, has been making it to the list of the traveling communities all the time – be it as a counter culture destination in the past or a value destination and cultural hub of South Asia now! This fascinating city has never ceased to wonder people. This time also, Kathmandu is chosen as one of the “10 cities primed to capture traveler’s imaginations in 2019” by Lonely Planet. The city ranks as the 5th top city after Copenhagen-Denmark, Shenzhen-China, Novi Sad-Serbia and Miami-USA. Other cities in the list are Mexico City-Mexico, Dakar-Senegal, Seattle-USA, Zadar-Croatia and Meknes-Morocco.
Kathmandu, which is as ancient as the history of the subcontinent itself and as modern as any other prime cities of South Asia, has been in the travelers’ pick since it started welcoming the foreigners back in 1950s. A medley of history, culture and myths, this vibrant city takes anyone to the roller-coaster of emotional experiences appealing all your senses. The Durbar Squares, backstreets, alleys, temples, Stupas, monasteries, bahals, endless array of street shops, vendors, and of course the infamous traffic-everything emits liveliness of this unique city. The city so seamlessly juxtaposes the extremes – quietude and chaos, ancient and modern, spirituality and celebration – together that every nook and corner unfurls a story of its own. Thus, why the city has been in the list is self explanatory. Regardless of who you are, either a curious traveler or simply a fakir, the city has everything for everyone!
PATA Human Capacity Building Programme themed “Explore the Art of Storytelling” was jointly organized by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on 13th and 14th August 2018 at Hotel Himalaya, Lalitpur. The 2-day program, which was one of the initiatives of PATA to enhance the skills of tourism industry professionals, was delivered by key speakers Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO – PATA; Stu Lloyd, an award winning professional story teller, writer and Chief Hothead – Hotheads Innovation; Choy Teh, PR Manager – Bannikins; and David Fiedler, Partner and Creative Director – Singular Foundry. Altogether 65 participants from travel and tourism sector of Nepal including the professionals, government officials and media attended the program.
The programme that was focused on the basics, tools and importance of storytelling had a series of intensive interaction and practical activities. On the first day, the programme started with an opening addressing by Dr. Hardy highlighting the need of storytelling in the exponential growth of tourism. The speech was, then, followed by Workshop Session conducted by the travel industry experts Mr. Lloyd and Ms. Teh. The second day had two sessions by Mr. Fiedler on “Building Empathy into Great Storytelling” and “Singular Purpose”. He presented a new case for empathy in Marketing Communications and conducted group activities on how to uncover and develop an authentic purpose statement of a company. The second half of the day had a concluding session where Mr. Lloyd wrapped the two day activities and Dr. Hardy provided some insights to Startups and Entrepreneurs for bringing about remarkable innovations in tourism sector. The programme concluded with a certificate distribution session in which Mr. Deepak Prasad Joshi, CEO – Nepal Tourism Board and Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO – PATA jointly handed over the certificates to all the participants. In his closing remark, Mr. Joshi extended gratitude to all the facilitators and PATA members for their immense support. The programme was hailed as successful by the participants. “The programme has exceeded my expectations as I have learned the magic of storytelling. I hope the skills I have got is sure to enhance my professionalism in days to come,” said Santosh Basnyat, one of the participants from Smartly Yours.
Mundum Trail, a new trekking trail in eastern Nepal, has been launched amidst a program today at Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikuti Mandap. The program organized by Maijung Temke Salpa Silichung Tourism Promotion Center, promoted by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and supported by Trekking Agencies’ Association Nepal (TAAN); has been graced by the Honourable Member of Legislature Parliament of Bhojpur Mr. Sudan Kirati as the Chief Guest. Apart from unveiling the trail, the route map was also released in the program, followed by a 10 minute documentary show and photo exhibition. Among the guests were Mr. Hikmat Aiyer- Director of NTB, Mr. Amrit Bhadgaule- media person and tourism expert, Mr. Ang Pemba Sherpa – President of TAAN, Mr. Bachu Narayan Shrestha – senior tourism expert, Mr. Pasang Dorje Sherpa – Advisor of Maijung Temke Salpa Silichung Tourism Promotion Center, Mr. Ang Temba Sherpa – General Secretary of TAAN and Mr. Durja Kumar Rai, Ex-IGP of Nepal Armed Police Force. Other attendees of the program included various representatives of NTB, TAAN, NMA, tourism professionals and media houses.
The Trail that comprises of natural beauty, sub-alpine bio-diversity and rich Kirati-Rai cultural heritage of Eastern Nepal, is considered as a unique moderate trail suitable for all age group and is expected to attract both foreign and internal visitors. During the program, Chief Guest Mr. Sudan Kirati hailed the trail as an exemplary alternative to regular mountain trekking and assured full support from Government side for the promotion of the trail. Mr. Hikmat Aiyar said, “Nepal Tourism Board has already kept the trail in priority list and allocated budget for the development and aggressive marketing of the trail.” The Chairman Mr. Ramesh Kumar Rai-President of Maijung Temke Salpa Silichung Tourism Promotion Center concluded the program by briefing the highlights of the trail and asserting the needs of collaboration from all sectors.
Mundum Trail is named after the verbal scripture of Kirati people called “Mundum”, which is considered as the basic guiding principle of the whole Kirati values and life activities. The trail is commended as being the first trail used by HW Tillman back in 1950 while travelling to Lukla. Starting from Diktel (a town approx 265 km from Kathmandu), the trail goes through the typical mid hills villages, lush rhododendron forests, hill ridges, pasture lands and culminates at the vibrant town of Bhojpur. The major highlight of the trail include numerous exclusive viewpoints that offer the panoramic views of mountain ranges from Mt. Shisapangma (in China) to Kanchenjunga, including six mountains above 8000m Manaslu, Nuptse, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kanchenjunga. Regarded as a live museum to observe Kirati civilization, one of the earliest known civilization in the history of Nepal, the trail also connects the lower Great Himalayan Trail and serves as the linkage points to Arun Valley and Lukla.
Day 1: Kathmandu – Diktel 1650m – 265kms (Guest House) 9-10 hour driving.
Day 2: Diktel – Chakhewa 2300m – Temke 3000m Hike – 48kms ( Camping) 1.30 hour.
Day 3: Chakhewa 2300m – Dhotre 2752m (Camping ) 4-5 hour.
Day 4: Dhotre 2752m – Maiyung (Satdobate 3122m) (Camping)4-5 hour.
Day 5: Maiyung (satdobate 3122m)- Rawadhap 3426m (Camping) 6,7 hour.
Day 6: Rawadhap 3426m – Salpa Bhanjyang 3348m (kulopankha) (Tea house) 4-5 hour.
Day 7: Salpa Bhanjyang 3348m – silichung climb – Salpa Bhanjyang (Tea house) rest day 6-7 hour.
Day 8: Salpa Bhanjyang 3348m – Hyakule 2972m (Camping) 4-5 hours.
Day 9: Hyakule 2972m – Maiyung danda 3333m (Camping) 3-4 hours.
Day 10: Maiyung danda 3333m – Delikharka Bhojpur 1800m (Guest House) 5-6 hours.
Day 11: Bhojpur ,Taksar – sightseeing (Guest House) half day.
Day 12: Bhojpur ktm – by Bus / by flight Bhojpur – Hile- 88 kms Hile – Dharan – 64 kms Dharan – Kathmandu – 300 kms Chakhewa – Silichung – Salpa Bhanjyang 66.9kms Salpa Bhanhyang –Bhojpur 49.4kms trekking trail distance.
For more details, please visit https://www.mundumtrail.com/