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Showing posts with label NTB. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NTB. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Money taken as Tourists fee should be used to increase benefits for tourist

The Nepal Government has doubled the tourism service fee for foreigners exiting Nepal via Tribhuvan International Airport enacting from March 1, 2014. The decision to revise the fee was taken by the executive committee of NTB. It was later approved by the Ministry of Finance.

The statement specifically highlights that the income generated from the fee will be used by #Nepal_Tourism_Board to promote Nepal in the international arena and for development of domestic tourism.

I think the money collected from the tourists should be invested in the airport and other facilities rather than the personal holiday trip of the NTB staff. When they go abroad we all know how the promotion takes place. One thing we all have to understand that Nepal lacks marketing tools for Nepal’s promotion. We have embassies in most parts of the world why aren’t we using that network. Working as a tourism journalist I have personally participated in many programs conducted by such embassies that save money and time and most importantly it helps the embassy to increase their credibility at a national level.

Apart from that we lack promotional quality materials like videos and photos which need to be worked on.

The NTB should hire few intellectual marketing consultants who can work on creating a buzz campaign rather than spending millions and billions of rupees in the so called foreign trip in the name of promotional expenses.
I am sorry to say this but taking Nrs 1000 from one tourist might not matter but when it comes to a year’s round figure that money amounts to 6 or 7 digit in a year and you are planning to use it for promotional activities what a joke....
The money taken from the tourists should be returned to them in the name of service, my question is why isn’t NTB ready to finance thamel as a Vehicle Regulated Zone or help Basantapur give better services. Why is it just ready to go for promotional activities aboard only?

Why is my question? Its high time when the leadership and the Nepal Government start thinking about the long terms solution for Nepal’s tourism and its pros and cons rather than wasting time and money in the name of promotional activities.  

Nepal is getting popular as tourism destination whereas talking about the cost its increasing and when we talk about services and quality then its decreasing. Then what are the tourists getting out of it #Baba_jee_ka_Thullu
Use that money to improve the #Tribhuvan_International_Airport at least the tourists would get some benefit out of it ...............    

last time I was there at the International Arrival section I was ashamed of the message displayed at the corridor and services available there. Leadership needs to check this

I know and understand the importance of foreign promotion but at this stage our tourism is just growing. It’s our choice to whether make the base strong or whether we want to make it more vulnerable and expensive.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

NTB completes 10 th year

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) celebrated its 10th anniversary on November 18, 2008 at its abode at Brikutimandap. NTB was established under the Public Private Partnership in 1998 seeking the opportunity and scope to promote and establish Nepal as a prominent tourist destination worldwide by maintaining, improving and diversifying the available tourism products and services.

With the different tourism campaigns like Destination Nepal Campaign, Festival of Life, Naturally Nepal Brand Campaign, Regional Tourism Campaign, Visit Pokhara Year 2007 and Send Home a friend campaign bagged under its belt, it is moving towards future achievement showing the commitments and efforts.

The Chief Geust, Hisila Yami, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) inaugurated the program.

Speaking at the program Minister Yami said, “NTB is a Successful example of the Public Private Partnership with a concerted effort of Promoting Nepal as a popular tourist destination in the global travel market. Operating with various constraints from financial to human resource is obvious an arduous and challenging work which NTB has been undertaking over this decade. But every challenge has opportunity which this institution has to further explore and expand. The present favorable situation in the country’s politics is the strongest base for the development of tourism industry of Nepal. In addition, government of Nepal has placed tourism in the priority list of the national income resource. It has already taken initiative by declaring this year, the year of infrastructure development and 2011 as the Nepal Tourism Year. Moreover, we have already committed to build second international airport, two regional airports, upgrading and expanding other domestic airport and development of Nepal’s tourism industry.”
“Improving the management of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) into fully equipped airport are further in pipeline which show the government‘s sincere policy and action towards the development. Likewise, we are also working in improving the management of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and starting the process of purchasing at least two wide body aircraft articulate government’s policy and action towards the development of Nepal’s tourism industry,” Minister Yami added.

The minister unveiled the new ‘In Focus 2008’ the publication of NTB, where she also felicitated the different NTB employees and distributed awards to the winners of the sports activities of the organization. Moreover, this year the best employee award was awarded to Raj Bhandari where as the support staff was given to Gautam Lal Darshandhari. Similarly, National Forum of Photo Journalists (NFPJ) was awarded the award for Partnership in tourism promotion.

Ranan Lurie, an international painter presented his presentation on Uniting painting.

During the program the Sadhana Kala Kendra performed different ethnic dances where Megh Ale, President of the Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT) presented concept paper of tourism for peace and prosperity 2008 to the minister.

Prachanda Man Shrestha, Chief Executive Officer of NTB said, “Personally, I have a strong emotional attachment with this institution. I have seen this organization grow and mature every year with greater responsibility. This decade of NTB has been the decade of hardship and challenges. It has witnessed both international and national upheavals, uncertainties and condition which obviously have had detrimental impact on industry. Therefore NTB has to continuously strive for the overall tourism promotion of Nepal to enhance its image as a safe, secure and pleasant holiday destination for the tourist in various segments from all over the world. But now we feel like a day break in Nepal’s tourism industry due to the improving political stability, peace and aspirations of the stake holders in this field. Government is fully committed to build infrastructure and to encourage investment and private sector is all set and energized to take up the enterprise with vigor and confidence. NTB as a promotional body of Nepalese tourism is fully aware of the upcoming opportunities and is vigilant of the possible challenges in its future course of action.”

Ram Chandra Man Singh, General Secretary at the MoCTCA said, “NTB from its past has been a pillar of support to the tourism industry. Its role and effort during the conflicting situation is highly appreciable to manage the countries tourism. NTB is a spirit of public private partnership which was established to promote tourism and it should work in that spirit adapting all the stakeholders’ aspirations.”

Apart from all the celebration, the tourism journalists’ fraternity expressed their discontinuation of journalist award and for not recognizing their contribution by NTB despite immense role in helping NTB’s tourism promotion campaign both nationally and internationally.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Monday, January 26, 2009

Festivals after festivals: Effective or vain

Celebration is the part of life and showcasing it in the form of festivals is a way of promotion. But here we are not talking about the festivals like Dashain or Indra Jatra but the unending festivals that Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has been promoting over the years. In the recent years, NTB is more seen busy in endorsing such festivals and promoting local villages for tourism activities. The year round festival of NTB doesn’t seem to stop and every year this trend is only soaring higher and higher. As per the statistics NTB hosted around 40 events and festival celebrations in 2007 alone in different parts of Nepal. Now the question remains, how effective these festivals have been to promote tourism in real sense? Does it really help?

Mani Raj Lamichhane, Manager at the Tourism Product & Development NTB said, “We are the facilitator as the locals, they come up with the proposals and we evaluate their proposals and support them with necessary resources that are available.”

“Currently there is a whim of festival celebration going on where there is a misconception in public that we finance the project but in reality, we don’t. We support and coordinate with all our resources. In-fact, we do not support them with cash rather we support them with kind and before supporting any project; we do look at future prospect and do a full evaluation of the project’s sustainability and prospects,” added he

He asserted, “Celebrating festivals are not just the means to promote a destination perhaps, it’s a spectrum which gives a wide opportunity from exploring to awareness to promoting local industry.”

Highlighting the current status, the Annual operational Plan 2007/08 of NTB shows an expense of around NRs 4.5 Million (063/64) under the category of domestic tourism festival & events where as it shows NRs 61 Million (064/65) for tourism promotion in International front.

Surdarshan Pradhan, a leading festival organizer said, “Festival celebration is an essential part of promoting rural tourism. Today the western world is moving towards eco and sustainable tourism where the concept of home stay is developing rapidly. So adapting that we are more focused towards celebrating festival in rural parts where the arrivals can get the real taste of Nepal.”

“We generally host around 30 festivals in a year in rural parts of Tanahu and Lamjung district where NTB has supported us. Looking at the real prospects and capacity of NTB and its involvement is very limited. It’s a hub organization which annually receives NRs 250 to 300 Million where only 10 % is used in promotion of rural tourism. Reality is around 80% to 90 % of the budget is wasted in the name of foreign promotion where the staff enjoy visiting the foreign countries. Besides, if the right amount of money could be spent here then effective results could be achieved,” added he.

However, looking at the prospect of Nepal, currently there are hundreds of festivals and events celebrated around the country where the monitoring, evaluation and sustainability of the festivals are just limited with in papers.

Dr Rudra Prasad Upadhaya, academician and rural tourism expert said, “The trend of celebrating festivals and events has emerged as a whim where festivals and events are done on daily basis. This needs to be controlled and systematized by the related authorities in a channelized way. In-fact the NTB should develop a proper mechanism to counter such acts where it needs to engage itself in proper research focusing on prominent destinations.”

He suggested, “Understanding the voices, the trend of celebration shows an effort from the people to develop their place and land but on contrary they prioritize their trade where in major cases the destination lacks behind. People just do it in the trend of doing where the sustainability is a question which lies unanswered. To be specific, Nepal needs rural, village and community tourism where we lack effective promotion and development.”

“NTB is a hub organization which is not interested in domestic tourism where most of its efforts are prioritized to international promotion. The institution needs to integrate all the stake holders towards driving the industry for better development and prospects,” added he.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi


Sky Dive World Record Set in Nepal

The world record in Sky diving has been set recently by the aesthetic and world champion sky divers in Nepal’s most enchanting tourism destination, Everest region. A total of 76 jumps were carried out of which were 41 solo and 41 tandems at an attitude from 18,000ft to 29,500ft where the single engine Plane was flown in from Switzerland. Nima Tamang and Maya Gurung were the first Nepalese to perform the sky dives at such height. The group included 15 different national from various countries.

Speaking at the closing ceremony held in NTB premises on October 14 Windy Smith a Pro Sky diver and Ariel Cinematographer said, “The feeling of sky dive is an awesome experience. This is the most secured sport with minimum risk possibilities. Everything is calculated before conducting diving process. We use various equipment like GPS, attitude meter etc. to measure and trace the possible threats in order to minimize mishaps. The only unavoidable hazard for diving from such a height is high altitude sickness.”

Suman Pandey, President of the Explore Himalaya, the main organizing agency in Nepal said, “At first when I was approached by the concept of Sky diving I was confused regarding the technicalities and security issues but today after completion of the jumps, I am thankful to all the foreigners who opened our eyes and introduced ourselves to a completely new adventure sport for Nepal. Hopefully this will be our regular event from this year onwards. Most probably this is the second most covered event after the celebration golden jubilee of Mt. Everest, giving a wide publicity to Nepal as an ultimate adventure destination.”
At the closing ceremony were present Prachanda Man Shrestha , CEO at NTB and Subash Nirola, Director, NTB, TPRD. Prachanda Man Shrestha giving a remark said that a new adventure sport has entered the list of activities that can be carried out in Nepal. Shrestha also gave away token of appreciation to all the participant divers. Similarly, Subash Nirola expressed satisfaction over the success of the event and congratulated the organizers for attempting such a daring job and opening a new chapter in the realms of the country’s adventure sport.

Similarly, a documentary about sky diving was also displayed during the program.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tsum Valley: Yet another potential trekking destination

Located in the serrated and natural environment of Northern Gorkha at an altitude from 1905m to 5093m on the Tibetan border, Tsum valley is new marvel for tourist attraction. An exploration program was organized by Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on May 11, 2008 which lasted for 17 days. Tsum Valley was recently opened by the government in last October 17, 2007 where previously, it was a restricted from any tourism or recreational activities. The exploration was conducted by 12 technical team members with 15 support team members for the survey of its feasibility as a trekking destination. According to the report forwarded by the team of Sonam Lama, Coordinator, Tsum Welfare Committee and Namgyal Sherpa Coordinator of the exploration and Executive member of Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN) stated, “The report addressed the issues on basic facilities and tourist attractions along the trail to uplift livelihoods of the inhabitants by developing and promoting sustainable tourism. The main objective of this project was to disclose the secrets of the hidden valley and make it feasible for all.” The specific objectives of the study limited with in following points: To study possibility of developing Tsum Valley as a new and peculiar destination. To study the tourism infrastructure available (camping, lodges, stores, bridges, helipads etc) for trekking groups To revise the cultural and natural heritages of the valley from the tourist standpoint. To study latent impact by the upcoming trekkers group on the socio-economic factor and the merits for the Tsumbas To ascertain the best possible area and daily chained itinerary with well detailed information that acquires optimum scenic and cultural experiences The report also forwarded recommendations like
1. Opening and Developing Tsum Valley Circuit Trek Route from Mu Gumba. This new circuit trek route can be developed by providing the basic facilities of water and improvement of trail. As the trail goes from high altitude, it can provide a spectacular panorama of surrounding peaks like Ganesh Himal, Poshyo peak, Langju peak and glacial lakes like Chho syong, Chho Lungyo and Yamdro,.

2. Opening and Development of Trans-Himalaya Circuit which would be linked from Kathmandu-Syabru Bensi-Kyirong-Takar Taso-Ngula Dhajen Pass-Tsum Valley-Arughat-Kathmandu.

3. Trail Improvement, The trail from Arughat to Tsum Valley is newly constructed. So a proper maintenance is the need.

4. Conservation and Renovation of Cultural heritage, since Tsum Valley is rich in its cultural heritage which needs to be conserved. As mani walls, chortens and gateway chortens and Gumbas play important role to attract tourists so timely renovation is a must. The exploration team observes the mani walls at Kalung, Gateway Chorten of Chhule are in deteriorated condition which should be addressed timely.

5. Tourism Awareness Program, This valley is recently opened for tourists, so most of the locals are unaware about the tourists and their relationship with the place. Hence, different programs should be initiated to aware the locals to understand about the tourism industry. Basically, these programs should be given to the school childrens.

6. Trainings for Tourism Promotion, In order to give the maximum benefit to the local community, it needs skilled manpower. Hence, different types of trainings should be carried out including Lodge management training, Cook-waiter training.

Likewise, talking about the prospect and tourism, Puspa Thapaliya President of the Gorkha Tourism said, “Tsum Valley is a high alpine virgin region which is famous for its unexplored rawness and wilderness. The way government declared its opening without any home work is really questionable.” “Despite its restriction, during the conflict time, tourists use to illegally camp in the valley, which has not only degraded the ecology but has questioned its future. As in the region, we have fewer numbers of trees and without proper mechanism they increase the high risk of deforestation and garbage problem. First thing that needs to be worked on is we should develop an effective mechanism involving all the stake holders where the pros and cons should be addressed, which seems to be sidelined,” said he. Regarding the royalty issue he added, “Currently we have a royalty of $90 in the peak season and $70 for the off season for Manaslu Region where as the government have declared royalty of $35 in the peak season and $25 in the off season for the Chum Valley which is totally absurd as Chum Valley is a new and virgin destination and when offered for less royalty. It would certainly attract large number of tourists and without proper mechanism in long run would surely invite problems.” “One more thing which needs to be thought of is just on the other side of the valley in China, we have all the facilities of infrastructure of road, communication etc but on our side we do not have any facility which needs to be understood and worked on,” stressed he. However, the business entrepreneurs are happy from the opening of Tsum valley but relatively a group of environmental activities are concerned with the lack of effective management from the government side. Perhaps the opening of the valley certainly highlights better prospect but on contrary it also discourages the illegal trekking and camping activities that were operated prior the opening. Jyoti Adhakari, President of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal,” The government move to open Tsum Valley is very commendable. As Tsum valley holds lot of scope for productive tourism, it can prolong tourists stay for longer days due to it’s environ. It has huge scope for medium range adventure sites where it can easily attract trekkers and adventure enthusiasts. Firstly, we need to create local awareness about eco-tourism where all the stake holders should participate in creating an effecting mechanism for the overall development. We are also planning to donate $1 from the money raised to local bodies for awareness purpose as if people are aware about pros and cons then they can think for their betterment.” “We should promote local people and product for sustainability and this should be focused as the main mantra for tourism practice,” added he.

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

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