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Illegal Trekking Operators

Date : 2010-04-29

Increasing number of illegal trekking operators is becoming a serious problem for Nepali trekking industry. As an umbrella organization of trekking agencies in Nepal, Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) would like to request all trekkers to take the service of only the government authorized trekking companies for ethical, legal and trouble-free trekking trips in Nepal.

Who are the illegal trekking operators?
1. "Tour leaders" based in foreign countries
It has come to our notice that some ‚??tour leaders‚?? are forming trekking groups at their home country and operating in Nepal without taking the service of local companies and paying no taxes at all to the government except the national park fees. Most of the trekkers joining these groups do not know that they are avoiding taxes and their trip is illegal. According to Nepal‚??s legal provision, no foreigner can independently operate trekking trips in Nepal. These illegal operators do not insure their porters and guides and trekkers are likely to face difficulty in arranging emergency evacuation as they do not have any representatives in Nepal. As a responsible human being, it is your duty to ask your group leader/tour organizer whether or not they are joining any local company. We kindly request you to make a trip which is ethical and legal and avoid yourself from falling into unnecessary trouble.

2. Some Nepalese trekking guides
The existing tourism law does not allow a Nepali trekking guide to independently operate or run a trekking trip. A trekking guide can either work with a trekking company or work as a freelance guide offering his/her guiding services but cannot organize a trekking trip. Many trekkers, who are not aware of existing laws, are found to be asking trekking guides to organize their trip (instead of asking a trekking company). This would be just ‚??paying for a trouble‚??. If your trekking guide proposes you to organize a trip, your answer should be ‚??No‚??.

A trekking guide himself is not insured and he would not insure the trekking staffs that he takes along. Only a registered trekking company can insure all its trekking staffs accompanying the groups. If something goes wrong with the porters and guides, the trekkers who hire them would be liable for their emergency evacuation, medical treatments and other emergencies, which will cost a huge amount. Equally serious is, if you fall sick or get injured in the mountains, they cannot arrange emergency evacuation for you.

In case your belongings are stolen or if somebody harmed you while on the trek, you will be unable to complain anywhere because your trekking status is already illegal. Most of such cases have happened with the trekkers who join illegal treks where there would be no responsible party for the whole organizing.

3. Hotels
We have found that many trekkers are buying trekking package from the hotel where they stay, which is not legal. According to existing laws, your hotel cannot organize a trek. From legal point of view, buying a trek through your hotel is like buying through an individual. However, if you buy the trip through the travel counter run by an authorized company in the hotels (make sure that it is the counter of authorized company), it is all right.

All the foreigners, including those working in the diplomatic missions or NGOs /INGOs, are also required to join the trekking company for their trekking trips except in some special cases. Since trekking companies have been authorized by the government to organize trekking trips, you will always get better rates and attractive trips through a trekking company.

As a foreigner, you can go embark on trekking trips independently without taking the services of a guide or porter-- self guided and carrying your luggage yourself, but if you take the services of the guide or porter, you must go through an authorized trekking company and that these staffs must be insured.

TAAN, along with other concerned government bodies, is enforcing strict provisions at check points along the trekking trail to discourage illegal trekking trips. We would like to inform all the trekkers to use the services of the authorized operators and avoid getting returned from trek if found trekking illegally.
Your support in this regard would help us to make your trip both financially and physically safe, ethical and help the tax sustain taxpaying companies and the government to get optimum benefits from the trekking sector.



Nepal Tourism Year 2011

Date : 2010-03-01

Nepal Tourism Year 2011 (NTY-2011) was formally launched at a special programme on February 26, 2010 amidst the fanfare. Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal launched the formal beginning of NTY-2011 by lighting a peace lamp brought from Lumbini at the Army Pavilion in Tundikhel, Kathmandu, Nepal.

In a very jubilant demonstration of solidarity, more than 40 thousands of people from various sectors assembled at the Army ground in Tundikhel.

People from many sectors were gathered on the ground to support and launch the NTY-2011. Around 18 major political parties committed to support the campaign verbally and by signing the manifesto in front of thousands of people.

It is hope that the tourism industry will boom in coming years as many international travelogue and agency quoted Nepal as one of the best adventure destinations in world tourism market.

For more details about NTY - 2011 www.nepaltourismyear2011.com

Nepal in Top Ten List

Date : 2010-01-26

Nepal has been recommended one of the "Top Ten Travel Recommendations for 2010" by news.scotsman.com. For more information please click the below link
http://news.scotsman.com/spectrum/Travel-Top-ten-travel-recommendations.5969809.jp

Govt issues Everest Declaration

Date : 2010-01-10

The cabinet meeting of Nepal Government issued a 10-point Everest Declaration at Kala Patthar, 18,192 feet above sea level and near the base camp of world¬īs highest peak Mt Everest, on December 4, 2009

Prime Minister Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal along with 23 ministers, some of them with oxygen masks, held the meeting at the Kala Patthar plateau to raise awareness about melting Himalaya due to climate change.

With the Everest Declaration, the government has committed to increase the conservation areas in the country from 20 per cent to 25 per cent and consolidating 40 per cent forest area. It also focuses in raising awareness on climate change issues and seeking international commitment and support to address the issues.

At the beginning of the cabinet meeting, PM Nepal briefed ministers about the motive of the meeting. "Climate change is not only issue of the mountainous nations or nations at the sea level, it¬īs a common issue of all," he said.

"To save the earth, the biggest sacrifice is needed from the nations producing large amount of carbon," he added.

Jet Airways introduces new KATHMANDU-MUMBAI Service

Date : 2010-01-10

Jet Airways, India‚??s premier international airline has introduced a new service on the Mumbai-Kathmandu - Mumbai sectors, its third service to the Nepalese capital from India, with a state-of-the-art Boeing 737-800 aircraft from Wednesday, December 2, 2009.

The new flight will operate five days a week - on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Jet Airways flight 9W 266 will depart from Mumbai at 8:05 am and arrive in Kathmandu at 10:55 am. Flight 9W 265 will then leave Kathmandu at 11:55 am and reach Mumbai at 2:20 pm.

‚??We are planning to make daily flights from next year,‚?Ě said PK Singha, vice-president of Jet Airways.

Jet Airways currently operates 26 flights between Nepal and India. There are two Jet Airways flights between Kathmandu and New Delhi in a day. JetLite, a subsidiary of Jet Airways, offers one daily flight on these destinations.

Jet Airways has good domestic and international network from Mumbai. ‚??Mumbai is a good place of transit to Gulf countries, North America, Europe and South-East Asia,‚?Ě Singha said adding Kathmandu-Mumbai flights will provide seamless connectivity between Nepal and other destinations. Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) chief executive officer Prachanda Man Shrestha said, ‚??NTB believes the flight link will be beneficial for Nepal Tourism Year 2011.‚?Ě The number of Indian tourists has rapidly increased in recent months ¬¨ experiencing a growth of 20 per cent and 16 per cent in October and November, respectively.

Jet Airway‚??s Mumbai-Kathmandu flight has 144 seats including 20 business class seats. The introductory price of the Kathmandu-Mumbai flight is NRs 16,000.

In a press release issued on the day, Mr. Nikos Kardassis, CEO, Jet Airways, says, ‚??The India-Nepal sector is a very busy one, with relatively large volumes of passenger traffic. With the success of our services to Kathmandu, there has been increasing demand for direct air connections between the Indian commercial hub of Mumbai and Kathmandu. Having introduced the same in the festive season, we are confident that our new service on this sector will be much appreciated by both business and leisure travelers alike.‚?Ě

New Year Festival concludes in Pokhara

Date : 2010-01-10

Annual tourism promotional event Pokhara New Year Festival concluded in the lake city on January 1.

The event has been organizing since the last eleven years to commemorate New Year and promote Pokhara as a New Year destination for both domestic and international visitors. The event was organized by Pokhara chapter of Restaurant and Bar Association of Nepal (REBAN).

About 80 restaurants in the Lakeside served their guests on the street throughout the festival. The organizers also blocked traffic on the 3 km stretch from Fishtail Gate to Dihikopatan for the celebration.

Apart from food and cultural programs, interesting sporting events like Tourist Race, Kayak Race, Tug of War, Waiter Race and food eating competitions were also organized. The event also saw cultural attractions like Chyaju dance of Gurungs, Selo of Tamangs, Kaura dance of Magars, stick dance of Tharus and cultural procession of Kirant and Newar people.

Elephant Festival concludes in Chitwan

The 6th Elephant Festival organized by Regional Hotel Association, Chitwan, concluded on December 28 at the ground of Baghmara Community Forest in Sauraha of Chitwan. The festival is organised every year to promote Sauraha as New Year destination.

A total of 22 organizations sponsored elephants in the unique Elephant Race. The elephants covered a distance of 400 meters. Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal has been taking part in the Elephant Race ever since its inception. Apart from the Elephant Race, the other main attraction of the festival was the Elephant Football competition. The event also saw bullock cart race and horse cart race.

The event saw encouraging participation of both domestic and international visitors.

SIM Card on Arrival

Date : 2010-01-10

Tourists can now easily buy a Nepal Telecom's Namaste Prepaid SIM Card at Tribhuvan Int'l Airport and get connected as soon as you land.

SIM Cards are in distribution from December 13, 2009 and for Tourists only.

The charge for SIM Card is NRs. 1135/- which includes talk value worth NRs. 500/-

Available at HAN Counter (TIA)
Tribhuvan Int'l Airport. Another private mobile company Mero Mobile SIM card easily available.

Lonely Planet Names Nepal One of 2010's Top 10 Countries

Date : 2010-01-10

Lonely Planet has chosen Nepal as one of the world's Top 10 Countries for next year in LONELY PLANET'S BEST IN TRAVEL 2010, published few weeks before.

BEST IN TRAVEL 2010 is Lonely Planet's fifth eagerly-awaited annual collection of the best places to go and the best things to do around the world for the year ahead.

Other destinations to make Lonely Planet's Top 10 Countries 2010 list are El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Portugal, Suriname and the USA.

Drawing on the knowledge and passion of Lonely Planet's staff, authors and community, BEST IN TRAVEL 2010 showcases a year's worth of inspiration to take travellers out of the ordinary and into some unforgettable experiences. Other highlights include:

The Top 10 Regions to visit in 2010: Alsace, Bali, Fernando de Noronha, Goa, Koh Kong Conservation Corridor, Lake Baikal, Oaxaca, Southern Africa and The Lake District.

2010's Top 10 Cities: Abu Dhabi, Charleston, Cork, Cuenca, Istanbul, Kyoto, Lecce, Sarajevo, Singapore and Vancouver.

Top Travel Lists of the best experiences for the year ahead, from wildlife-watching in South Africa to catching a space flight launched from the Mojave Desert. Interested in rubbing shoulders with thousands of locals running a marathon? Explore the options in the Magical Marathons' list. Or it might be something more pragmatic ‚?? such as an eye operation in India, which features on the Medical Adventure's list.

2010 Travel Planner, with more than 30 adventures mapped out month-by-month ‚?? from January's Low country Oyster Festival in Charleston, USA to New Year's Eve in Paramaribo, Suriname.