Everest Skydive has reached new heights this year with a record breaking stand up parachute landing by Paul-Henry de Baere at 20,160ft MSL (6145m) at the West Col of Baruntse. The record setting skydive that occurred at 7:36AM GMT+5:45 on 19th May 2019 was made using a Performance Designs Navigator 240 main parachute with a wingloading 0.8 and into an 10kt headwind. Paul-Henry de Baere, who is the Media Director of Everest Skydive beat Everest Skydive’s all-time highest altitude landing record of 17,192ft MSL (5240m) set by Everest Skydive teammates Wendy Elizabeth Smith and Tom Noonan in 2009. The World Record jump was made from “The Dragon”, a Eurocopter B3 helicopter piloted by Deepak Jung Rana, Executive Director for Summit Helicopters and Captain Deepak Pun, with supplementary support provided by Simrik Air with Captain Siddhartha Gurung and Tsering Bothe. Everest Skydive’s Operations Director Tom Noonan managed the expedition’s oxygen support from Baruntse Base Camp at 17,857ft MSL (5443m) and Yorick Vion managed the drop zone set-up. The team of Explore Himalaya was responsible for the arrangement of the entire logistics and operation.
Explore Himalaya organized a felicitation program to honour Paul-Henry de Baere and Everest Skydive Team at Marcopolo Restaurant, Chhaya Center on 21st May. During the program, Paul-Henry de Baere, Tom Noonan and of Yorick Vion were honored with garland and Khada by Bibhuti Chand Thakur – General Secretary PATA Nepal Chapter, Abdullah Tuncer Kececi – General Manager Turkish Airlines Nepal, Ramesh Kharel – Ex Nepal Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Rajan Pokhrel – Deputy Editor Himalayan Times and Abhinav JBR – Chairman of Turbo Motors Pvt. Ltd respectively. Mountaineers Maya Gurung and Pujan Acharya who climbed tallest mountains on all seven continents, international mountain journalist Billi Bierling, Miss Tourism Samriddhi Rai were also present in the program. A video of the record breaking landing was also premiered in the program. The program was moderated by Suman Pandey, the President of Explore Himalaya.
Our Words of Gratitude:
We have always been a proud partner of Everest Skydive since 2008. However, at this moment, we are brimming with joy as well to be a part of this ambitious expedition. What could be more beautiful than complementing our 12 years’ togetherness with Everest Skydive in such a delightful note! Operating an event of such stature in the Himalayan terrain is of course a serious challenge. However, we made it possible! But needless to say, it’s a team effort and the benevolence of the Mountains. Our deep reverence to the Mountains for patronizing us! In the meantime, we would also like to have an honorable mention to Everest Skydive’s Operations Director Tom Noonan, the man behind the back of the whole project. Thanks Tom and the entire Everest Skydive team for instilling us with passion and dream throughout! Thanks Yorick Vion for your great effort in drop zone set-up & welcome to the Team! We couldn’t help ourselves thanking Summit Helicopters Nepal and Simrik Helicopters also for your valuable support. Together we made it happen- you all are a treat to work with! Once again Félicitations PH- you are an inspiration! Keep living your dream!
Prithivi Bahadur Pandey – Chairman of Chhaya Centre (left), Yogesh Bhattarai – a Parliamentary Member of Nepal Communist Party (middle) and Suman Pandey, Director of Chhaya Center (right)
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.
1Million Tourists 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.
Swoyambhu Stupa, an iconic heritage site of Kathmandu
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!
Human Capacity Building Program 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.
Stu Lloyd – Chief Hothead, Hotheads Innovation, Hong Kong SAR
David Fiedler – Partner and Creative Director, Singular Foundry, Canada
Choy Teh – PR Manager, Bannikins
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.
Dr. Mario Hardy – CEO, PATA
Participants from Explore Himalaya Group (from left to right: Santosh Basnyat, Rokesh Sharma, Arun Karki and Menuka Gurung)
The meeting and handling was very good and on time. We were provided lots useful tips about the Kathmandu and trek. During trek our trekking staffs were very helpful. Lodges were good with warm welcome every time. Itinerary was good and flexible and adapted to our needs.