KATHMANDU, Sept 28: Three villages in different parts of the country received 'Best Village Destination for Tourists' honor on Thursday.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Adhikari, awarded Murma village of Mugu, Doramba of Ramchhap and Rainaskot of Lamjung with 'Best Village Destination for Tourists' honor to the three villages at a program organized in Kathmandu on Thursday to celebrate 39th World Tourism Day.
World Tourism Day was celebrated across the country on Thursday with the theme 'Tourism and Digital Transformation'. Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and different travel trade associations teamed up to celebrate the day by organizing different programs and activities.
On the occasion, Minister Adhikari also awarded cash prize of Rs 100,000 and a letter of appreciation to Uddhab Raj Rimal who designed logo for the Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign.
Speaking at the program organized in Kathmandu, Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of NTB, said that the tourism industry all over the world was embracing digitization. "Digital transformation is not all about economic and social upgradation. A concept of no national security without cyber security is emerging,” he said, adding that the changing trend toward digitization is giving a boost to the tourism sector. He also urged all stakeholders to enhance themselves digitally, adding that NTB was providing digital marketing training to 20 different districts of the country.
Meanwhile, the ministry awarded different institutions in recognition of their contribution to tourism industry. Those awarded on the day were Indian carrier Jet Airways (Highest Passenger Carrier Award), Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Largest Taxpayer Under Tourism Ministry), Nepal (Largest Foreign Earner). Similarly, Shashwat Dham of Nawalparasi received Modern Destination Development Award.
Addressing the program, Minister Adhikari urged tourism stakeholders to have patience and be positive toward construction of Nijgadh International Airport. “The government will build the airport putting minimum impact on the environment," he said, adding that Nijgadh airport is a necessity of the government as Tribhuvan International Airport is nearing saturation point and lacks modern amenities, while Gautam Buddha International Airport and Pokhara International Airport will not have capacity to accommodate bigger jets.
Meanwhile, travel trade associations organized different programs on Thursday to celebrate World Tourism Day. While Thamel Tourism Development Committee organized a street festival in Thamel, Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) member hotels offered 20 percent discount for tourists on Thursday.
New marathons launched
KATHMANDU, Sept 28: Coinciding with the 39th World Tourism Day, Himalaya Expeditions -- the organizer of Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon and Lumbini PEACE Marathon -- has launched two new marathons with the objective of promoting tourism through adventure sports. The first one is Pokhara Mountain Marathon, which will begin from Dhampus, connecting five Kots (forts) of Kaski before ending at Sarangkot. Similarly, Kathmandu Mountain Marathon will connect old Newar settlements of Kathmandu and Lalitpur. The marathon which will start from Chobhar will conclude in Godavari.
At the program, Himalaya Expeditions also gave away different prizes to individuals for their support and cooperation in the development of adventure sports tourism in the country. Sarad Pradhan (Nepal Tourism Board), Bikas Karki (Annapurna Post daily), Charles Haviland (BBC) and Kumar Shrestha (Journalist) received Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon Award. The award carries a purse of Rs 25,000 and letter of appreciation. Tirtha Tamang of Nepal Army received Olympian Baikuntha Manandhar Prize which carries purse of Rs 25,000.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha and former tourism minister Ram Kumar Shrestha gave away the awards.
Similarly, Lumbini Peace Marathon Award was given to Shabbir Khan of Rupandehi, who has been protecting seeds of the old Bodhi tree, which was chopped down from the Mayadevi Temple premises, by producing saplings through tissue culture.
Speaking at the program, Bikram Pandey KAAJI, chairman of Himalaya Expeditions, said tourism will not be sustainable if local people are not benefiting. "That is why I always make sure that local people get some benefits from our programs and activities," he added.
Likewise, Deputy Prime Minister Shrestha said: "We all want to be like Buddha, but none of us is ready to give up material life like Prince Siddhartha. I am repeatedly raised this matter in the meetings of senior political leaders of the country."
Similarly, former tourism minister Ram Kumar Shrestha called on entrepreneurs to come up with innovative products.
On the occasion, a portal for promotion of Buddhist tourism -- www.buddhistcircuits.com -- was also launched.
Himalaya Expeditions also awarded Republica Photojournalist Pratik Rayamajhi as well as three other photojournalists who participated in the Nepal Photo Contest organized by PJ Club Nepal.