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Four Polish Trekkers presumed missing, found safely at Lukla

The misleading news about four Polish nationals missing from the trekking route of Jiri-Lukla since March 23rd, 2006 has been traced at Lukla this afternoon. As per the Tourism Crisis Response Action Unit-member Mr. Ang Tshering Sherpa's direct conversation with one of the members of the said Polish team in Lukla, the fact has been established that they were not abducted. Due to the remote nature of trekking trails, where no communication facilities were available they could not communicate further after the 23rd March when they had some misunderstanding with locals en-route to their destination. This prolonged suspense without any information had indeed caused misinformation as apparent in the news.

According to, the Maoist rebels had strongly denied reports of kidnapping the group of four Polish trekkers.

Talking to over phone Monday 27th, 2006 afternoon, district committee member of the CPN (Maoist) in Solukhumbu district, Samul said it was against his party's policy to abduct trekkers. He said the trekkers were not in his party's captivity.

Nepal Tourism Board will update more information after the arrival of all the four Polish trekking team in Kathmandu. This fact has once again established that Nepal has always been a safe destination for tourists despite some baseless and misleading news and views.


Maiden Nepal Sales Mission in Eastern Europe

After the successful New Nepal Tourism Brand launch at the ITB Berlin on 11 March 2006, Nepal Tourism Board has organized the first ever Sales Mission in the East European countries of Czech Republic, Poland and Russia from 13 to 18 March 2006. Leading a delegation of twelve top tour operators and hotels from Nepal, NTB has organized Press Conferences and Tour Operators Meet in the various cities and disseminated tourism information and situation updates of the country in Czech Republic and Poland on 14 and 15 March respectively. In addition to promoting Nepal as a unique holiday destination, NTB also facilitated the private sector participants by providing them with a formal platform to interact with their travel trade counterparts in these countries.

Addressing the Meet, Mrs. Nandini Lahe Thapa, Director-Marketing and Promotion at Nepal Tourism Board said that the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal is a perfect getaway for people of East Europe offering numerous adventure, cultural and natural attractions and is the ideal destination to have a memorable holiday. She further stressed that Europeans in general and the fast growing East European outbound market in particular have become high value visitors for the entire Asian market. The increasing interests in magnificent mountains, Buddhism, eco-tourism, Asian cultures and traditions, buoyed by the burgeoning economy in Eastern Europe makes these countries a very potential market for Nepal. Highlighting on the vastly improved safety and security situation in the country, Ms Thapa stressed on the important role of the media in building up a positive image of Nepal. A destination presentation on Nepal was also made showcasing unique attractions as Mt. Everest, Lumbini and Pashupatinath and other cultural attractions of the country. The New Nepal Tourism Brand “Naturally Nepal- Once is not Enough.” was also presented to the guests.

More than 130 media and tour operators attended the program held in Prague, Czech Republic on 13 March. In the second lag, more than 75 media and tour operators attended the program held in Warsaw, Poland on 14 March. While NTB focused on promoting the destination to the media and trade invitees, the Nepalese travel trade participants held serious B2B sessions in both the cities.

On the last lag, the Sales Mission will head to Russia for the final program for the Media and Travel Trade to held in Moscow on 17 March. The participating companies at the East Europe Road Show are: Euro Asia Travels & Tours, Explore Nepal Group, Kathmandu Travels and Tours, Nature Trail Trekking, Nepal Trailblazer Trekking, The Malla Hotel, Dharma Adventures, Kathmandu Experience, Yeti Travels, Zenith Experience and President Travels.


Nepalese tourism Sales Mission at Moscow

Nepal Tourism Board March 19, 2006 Press Release Under the coordination of Nepal Tourism Board, Press Conferences and Tour Operators Meet was organized at Royal Nepalese Embassy, Moscow, Russia on March 17, 2006. Addressing the gathering, Royal Nepalese Ambassador to Russian Federation Mr. Hiranya Lal Shrestha said that Nepal has always been a center of attraction to Russian because of its diverse culture and nature. He further said that Russian Alpinists have shown great interest in the Himalayas and culture of Nepal. Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Nandini Lahe Thapa, Director-Marketing and Promotion at Nepal Tourism Board said that the increasing interest in magnificent mountains, Buddhism, eco-tourism, Asian cultures and traditions, buoyed by the burgeoning economy makes Russia a very potential market for Nepal. Highlighting the New Nepal Tourism Brand Naturally Nepal- Once is not Enough, Ms. Thapa said that the new brand has incorporated nature, culture and adventure which is reflected in the brand. Senior tourism entrepreneur and expert Mr. Karna Sakya highlighted the natural diversity of Nepalese tourism products. The participating companies are: Euro Asia Travels & Tours, Explore Nepal Group, Kathmandu Travels and Tours, Nature Trail Trekking, Nepal Trailblazer Trekking, The Malla Hotel, Dharma Adventures, Kathmandu Experience, Yeti Travels, Zenith Experience and President Travels.


NTB Participates in MATTA-MITM Fair 2006

Nepal Tourism Board along with RNAC and Eco Trek International participated in 16th MATTA-MITM Fair, the largest trade exhibition in Malaysia held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from March 17-19, 2006. Inaugurated by Datuk Seri Adnan Tengku Mansor, Hon'ble Minister of Tourism Malaysia, the fair was visited by more than 100,000 people during the three days event while the exhibitors representing hotels, resorts, airlines, NTOs, Tour Operators and agents from more than 20 countries participated in the fair. Nepal stall was visited by around 15,000 customers and more than 200 trade visitors. Nepal as a premiere holiday destination is well established in Malaysia though there is a rising demand of promotional packages. However, Nepal selling travel agents seemed to be waiting for the development in the political scenario and for the solution of the deadlock in the present crisis. Since Malaysia is an emerging outbound market with more than 4.5 million outbound a year and with rising living standard and disposable income, traveling is increasingly becoming a part of their life. Nepal has competitive advantage for the different market segments in the market as majority of them were found to be interested in trekking, hiking and soft adventure. Pilgrimage is equally promising among the Indian community. This participation is expected to further widen the perspectives and explore new areas of market for Nepal Tourism industry in the days to come. As part of an ongoing new branding exercise with the slogan "NATURALLY NEPAL -ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH", this participation has paved a way to allure more tourists from these potential markets.


State Minister Mrs. Yankila Sherpa launches New Nepal Tourism Brand at ITB 2006

Honorable State Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ms. Yankila Sherpa launched the Nepal tourism brand Naturally Nepal- Once is not Enough developed by Nepal Tourism Board at ITB Berlin, Germany on Mar. 11,2006 amidst a grand function.

The official tourism brand launching ceremony for the international media and Tour Operators took place at ICCs Hall 7 at ITB Complex. The grand ceremony was attended by more than hundred and fifty delegates including former Deputy Secretary General of UNWTO- Mr. David de Velleirs. Hon'ble State Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ms. Yankila Sherpa while inaugurating new tourism brand of Nepal said, "On behalf of my country, I express my great pleasure to share this historic moment of Nepal's Brand Launching here at ITB-Berlin amidst the international travel industry, dignitaries and friends of Nepal. In fact, this is the second leg of our brand launch program, with the first launch already having been conducted successfully at home country, Nepal on 05 March 2006. We have chosen ITB as our venue, realizing its capacity to bring together the world's important stakeholders, tourism leaders and journalists. We are very confident that the Brand image will be instrumental in increasing the number of tourists to Nepal."

The State Minister also appraised the invitees about the current political situation and the mission and vision of the present government under the leadership of His Majesty the King post February 1, 2005 and the government's commitment to promote the tourism industry at large. She emphasized that the safety and the security situation has improved vastly and the Government is making all efforts to strengthen democracy as proved by the recently held local elections. She also informed that the under liberal sky policy, HMG of Nepal is on the verge of introducing lucrative policies to entice European Airlines to fly into Nepal.

Similarly, His Excellency the Royal Nepalese Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany Dr. Madan Kumar Bhattarai also addressed the gathering and said that Nepal, country of the highest mountains on Earth and deepest gorges, also known as the land of Living Goddess and the origin of Buddhism in the world, today shares its abundance beauty with the rest of the world, with a New Brand, its natural image called 'Naturally Nepal-once is not enough.

Mr. Tek Bahadur Dangi- Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board made a comprehensive presentation on the extensive research process behind the new tourism brand. He said that New Nepal Brand is expected to be instrumental in addressing the needs of all the existing and emerging tourists of our target markets. "Series of campaign activities tied up in the branding process will ultimately keep Nepal on great competitive edge. Our destination brand is the totality of perceptions that a customer holds about the experiences associated with an exotic place which is to be promoted as the next generation mountain destination," he further said.

NTB CEO stressed that New tourism brand launched at the ITB Berlin is the outcome of intense brainstorming exercises and research intended to meet the challenges of the growing industry. He further mentioned that the new branding concept will cover entire activities that Nepal has been offering to the world with a new dimension. Mr. Dangi stressed that the thrust of new brand is to reinvent Nepals diversity, modernity and cultural heritage.

Other distinguished personalities to address the brand launching ceremony were Mrs. Marion Butler- PATA Europe Director, Mr. Rok Klancik-Director, Press and Communication-UNWTO. The speakers on the occasion highlighted on the tourism potential of Nepal and said that the tag line Once is not Enough is very true for Nepal with more than forty percent repeat visitors and committed support of these two giant organizations. Brand launch program also presented its destination highlights along with colourful cultural programme followed by a reception with delicious Nepalese cuisine. The headline of the new Nepal Brand Unleash yourself Body, Mind, Soul was received with great enthusiasm and appreciation.

Prior to this Honorable Minister also had a meeting with Mrs. Brunhilde Irber- Member of the German Bundestag who is also the Member/ Deputy Chairwoman of the committee on tourism at Nepal Stand on 10 th March 2006. During the meeting, State Minister informed that Nepal has been serving as a hub of adventure tourism in the region due to its strategic location. She also expressed her desire to forge closer cooperation between the two nations in areas like civil aviation, mountaineering, culture, infrastructure development, investment opportunities and conservation of cultural and natural sites which Madame Irber took very positively. Madame Irber also accepted the invitation of the State Minister to visit Nepal with key members of the German Parliament in the near future. On the same day, Hon State Minister also attended a luncheon hosted by PATA for key travel trade and media personalities and exchanged her ideas with PATA CEO and others on possible areas of cooperation for tourism development in Nepal. On the evening of same day, the State Minister also attended and addressed a Reception hosted by the Non- Resident Nepalis Association headed by Mr. Dil Gurung - President NRN Germany and PRR of Nepal Tourism Board.


Nepal Launches New Tourism Brand

For years, Nepal has been known as a land of Mt. Everest, sublime scenery, arcane temples, and some of the best walking trails on earth combined with exciting adventurous activities, which has positioned it as a unique, and interesting travel destination. But lately Nepalese tourism industry has felt necessary to reposition its image in the international tourism market with a popular brand amidst the stiff competition among destinations. New Brand, which was unveiled on March 5, 2005 , is a contemporary approach of promotion that Nepal 's tourism industry has taken so far to re-position the country in the competitive world of destination promotion.

To project the myriad images of Nepal in a condensed way, Nepal Tourism Board has launched a New Tourism Brand incorporating entire spectrum of tourism products/services, which provides leeway to Nepal to promote and market its tourism product in a complete package. The New Tourism Brand will be adopted by all the travel trade and other concerned agencies that market Nepal nationally or internationally.

Explaining the New Tourism Brand, Tek Bahadur Dangi- Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board says: “New Nepal Brand will be instrumental in increasing the number of tourists to Nepal . Prior to this Campaign, we were solely dependant on the individual overseas tour operators to promote Nepal but we will now all be working together in a concerted, focused and centralized effort to penetrate new segment of consumer market also that has great potential.”

The thrust of New Tourism Brand is to reinvent Nepal ’s diversity, modernity and cultural heritage while keeping in view the sustainability and environmental aspects at bay. To be very precise, Nepal 's New Tourism Brand is all about the true feeling of hospitality; smiling people; festivals throughout the year; extreme adventure & air sports; meditation and many more. "Our philosophy is that a destination brand is the totality of perceptions that a customer holds about the experiences associated with a place," Mr. Dangi adds.

The brand, developed by India based social infrastructure agency Alchemy, is the result of more than six months of research and planning with the Board in consultation with a wide range of other private and government agencies in Nepal, India and other major tourist generating market. The massive collaborative exercise has been carried out to unleash the Nepal 's tourism brand in a given time frame. The new brand has tried to redefine Nepalese tourism with a different flavor. Though Nepal 's traditional role as a destination is important, it must not only retained but also improve upon- through the reformulation of the Nepal product into a truly world class one. And with a strategic location and supporting infrastructure, Nepal is well suited to be both short and long haul destination. This option has been explored in this branding. The reformulation of the Nepal product is about building upon existing strengths and minimizing in on the weakness. It is about catering to the myriad interests of the visitors while ensuing that locals' own needs are met. These all approaches are incorporated in new brand, which will address the global concept of branding a destination. While every care is being taken to attract Indian tourists for weekend from Indian cities, more emphasis is being given to long haul tourists coming to Nepal for adventure holidays from Europe and America.

The new tourism brand has evolved with three major segments: Weekends breaks, Adventure holidays and Lifetime experience. Weekend break deals specially for Indian markets and other regional markets due to their proximity and easy air connectivity and Adventure and Lifetime experience aims at long haul markets like USA , Europe , Australia and others.

Unlike other countries, tourism branding exercise carried out by NTB is considered to be cost effective in terms of huge expenses that are being made by other countries in branding. NTB's brand consulting Company Alchemy Social Infrastructure was hired though global tender based on their merit of cost effective budget which was deemed appropriate in view of NTB's resource dispensation. Minimum amount required for the effective Brand campaign in India and other primary markets like UK, Germany, France and other South East Asian countries was proposed to be in tune of NRs. 10 crore Nepali Rupees for Guerilla type of brand campaign, however, due to the paucity of funds with the Government and NTB, the proposition could not be entertained. Therefore, austerity campaign measure is adopted by NTB to handle with bare minimum budget of nearly 2.5 crore within this Fiscal year. After an extensive research and substantive ground work of nearly six months, NTB has finally rolled out this new brand to kick start the process of campagain from the home front followed by unveiling at ITB-Berlin in March 11, 2006 by Minister of State of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mrs Yankilla Sherpa.

It is an appropriate forum to share the good news that Nepal tourism Board has bagged the prestigious PATA Gold Award in CD-ROM category for the year 2006 for the second time. We believe that the award of this nature has inspired the travel industry of Nepal in general and NTB in particular amidst the brand-launching extravaganza that is taking place nationally and internationally. Now, the new brand will have a lot of ingredient to make strong its stance in the tourism marketplace.

This new tourism brand is first of its kind created with professional expertise in the tourism history of Nepal . Previously also, lots of national programs were run but they were not based on the outcome of research and surveys. However, this new tourism brand is absolutely backed by the research and surveys, hence has lot of ingredients to support for the yield subject to availability of matching resources and required environment. Therefore, if this new brand is owned by all the major stakeholders of tourism industry in the country with the support of our foreign counterparts with univocal voice for its promotions at all levels, NTB is optimistic to generate desired outcome from this national brand exercise. Nepal Tourism Board firmly believes that tourism industry of Nepal will find belongingness in this national tourism brand- closer to its heart.


NTB Bags PATA Gold Award in CD-Rom Category

Press Release February 23; 2006
The Pacific Asia Travel Association has announced to award PATA Gold Award in CD ROM Category to Nepal Tourism Board's recently produced CD-ROM on Nepal's tourism. It is a matter of great pride to NTB to bag the same category of award twice; one in the Year 2000 and 2006 respectively. The winning campaigns were selected from more than 200 Gold Award entries by panels of international experts in each category. The awards were open to both PATA and non-PATA members. Bringing together nearly 100 state and city tourism authorities; over 55 national and regional airlines; and a plethora of travel industry companies and professionals; PATA continues to expand its ever-growing membership base through its headquarter at Bangkok; Thailand. To win prestigious international PATA Gold Award in CD ROM category twice is a testimony of NTB's professional approach toward destination marketing in a short period of its establishment.

In a cutting edge technology of the world today; many of the destinations of the world use state of the art technology for portraying their destination image through web; CD; DVD or other electronic means. However; Nepal being a tiny but beautiful country with huge bio-diversity has been able to discreetly execute the contemporary means of technology to wrap up entire gamut of tourism products and services in a most user entertaining and friendly means.

The award CD ROM; offers precise information about Nepal's tourism; with hundreds of photographs; write ups; music and videos; in nine different sections: The Country; Facts for Visitors; Tourist Destinations; National Parks; Trekking and Mountaineering; Rafting and Kayaking; Other Outdoor Activities; Suggested Itineraries and Tourism Related Services. It also includes a powerful multimedia CD; with a well-designed interface and excellent audio-visual content; which makes it wonderfully easy to get to know Nepal and its tourism products. Inclusion of hundreds of new photos; selected maps; screensavers and music track in the CD Rom has made it more vibrant for users to download them for their personal use. It also features a special presentation slide show accompanied by an interesting fusion of modern sound effect and traditional Nepali music; virtual tours; and music can be listened separately.

Targeted at tourists and potential visitors as well as the travel trade; the CD-ROM provides a detailed overview of Nepal with the aim of providing a good first impression of the beauty and diversity of the country. In addition to offering detailed information on the country’s culture; people and natural characteristics; through useful travel tips the CD-ROM also shows Nepal to be a safe and relaxing tourism destination.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association presents Gold Awards annually to travel related organizations and individuals recognizing their outstanding achievement in a variety of endeavors; bringing acclaim to the best the region’s travel industry has to offer.

All award recipients will be honoured during a special luncheon at the 55th PATA Annual Conference in Pattaya; April 23-27; 2006.

Based in Thailand; the Pacific Asia Travel Association – PATA; is today; the authority on travel to Asia and the Pacific region. PATA continues to promote the myriad facets and features of this remarkable region; uniting the many tourism authorities to provide travelers a comprehensive service of information and services.

NTB hired a renowned professional Nepali IT Consultant Mr. Khusbu Sarkar Shrestha to develop its CD ROM twice in 2000 and 2006 with vision and details as outlined by NTB professionals.

To capitalize the potential of pilgrimage tourism of Nepal in India; Nepal Tourism Board has invited half a dozen of journalists from both print and electronic media from India to cover Shivaratri at Pashupathinath Temple.

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