As Nepal has been receiving a good number of visitors from China and India, the country is planning to waive off visa fees for Chinese tourists for the year 2011. The government hopes this will help them achieve NTY 2011’s target of bringing in 1 million tourists to Nepal.
At the 18th National Convention of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) held in Kathmandu, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Sharat Singh Bhandari stated that efforts were on to offer free visa entry facility to the Chinese tourists.
Gokarna Forest Golf Resort is hosting the Everest Golf Challenge slated to begin today at the Gokarna Golf Club in Kathmandu. Professional golfers from India, Malaysia, and Nepal will be competing during the two-day event. The 36-hole tournament will be played in Stableford format. Altogether 50 participants including 13 from the Malaysia-Nepal Business Council will take part in the tournament.The event will have both individual and team events. Individual event will be played on both days while team event will be held only on the final day. Organizers hope that the tournament will boost golf tourism in Nepal.
According to figures released by the Immigration Office at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) visitor arrivals to Nepal via air in November 2010 have risen by 21.5 percent to 48,331 compared to the same month last year. Arrivals from South Asian region have grown by 55.5 percent with arrivals from Bangladesh growing at 80.7 percent, India at 52.9 percent and Sri Lanka at 44.2 percent. Arrivals from other Asian regions showed an increase by 8.8 percent. Europe has still maintained an upward trend showing an increase in arrivals by 8.6 percent. Visitor arrivals from Australia, New Zealand USA and Canada also risen by 10.8 percent, 30.2 percent, 39.2 percent and 31.5 percent respectively.
What will you do if you have travelled widely, traversed the Himalaya and love the mountains? If you are wise enough, maybe, you will think of smart ways to share your experiences.
Meet writer and intrepid traveller Bart Jordans, who has done just that. A widely travelled man, Bart has found a smart way to share his travel experiences. He has written guide books and is a regular guide leading trekking groups up the Himalayan mountains for than 25 years now. When not busy traipsing on the hills and mountains, Bart spends time with his family, selling outdoor gear in a trekking shop and writing. He has already published a trekking guide on Bhutan for Cicerone and presently writing about Everest region’s Khansung Trek.
Bart, who works as a group leader for Kipling Travels (Explore Himalaya’s partner agency in Denmark), led a trek to Everest Base Camp recently. He dropped in at our office after he returned to Kathmandu. Not to let an opportunity for a good write-up to slip by, I put forward a couple of questions to the expert himself.
A Dutchman who lives in Denmark, Bart first visited Nepal in 1984. He admitted that the country has changed a lot since then. Speaking about the changes he says, “There’s always the good old day as they say. You always remember how it was in ‘84. It was a lot more quiet and that’s what you miss now. But of course you can’t stop it. If more and more people come, more people can enjoy the Himalaya. In 1984 there were just three-four areas which were open (for tourists) but now many more areas are open and so the tourists have also spread. Of course its not everywhere as busy as you would think, still an Everest trek is busy.”
A widely traveled man, Bart has led treks not only to Nepal, but in Bhutan, Tibet, India and Pakistan as well. Asked where it is easier to travel to, he replied, “It’s easier here (in Nepal) if you fly. Travelling by road is also getting better, but if you fly that’s easier. All the services, like helicopters, it’s amazing. So you feel very safe here. On my trek, unfortunately, we had to order two helicopters. But it’s so easy to do. If the weather is okay, you could get the helicopter in no time. So that’s safe, which is not the case in many other countries in the Himalayas. It’s much more difficult.”
To people who have not visited Nepal, Bart’s advice is :
“ Come out here! Take an adventure and don’t sit on your chair back home and only watch television. Get up there! You know, its not that expensive and you will enjoy it. And if you are just a little bit more clever enough , you don’t get sick. Just listen to people who advise and the same is important with the altitude.If you plan to come out to the Himalayas for trekking, try to have those extra days for acclimatization. I think its also important to go with a big, known company because the back-up is very good. The back-up in cases of emergency , all the internal flights, the hotels – it makes so much easier!”
Together with four Nepalese private travel trade companies, Nepal Tourism Board participated in the TTE fair held in Kolkatta, India from 16-18 July 2010.The Nepalese stall received an overwhelming response from the visitors.The visitors showed interest on Nepal Tourism Year 2011 and inquired about special packages and incentives. During the event NTB felicitated two Mount Everest climbers from Kolkatta.The summiteers made a power-point presentation made on their journey to Nepal and Mt. Everest.