KATHMANDU, Sept 26: Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) along with different tourism organizations celebrated 38th World Tourism Day in Kathmandu on Monday by organizing various programs.
The celebrations began with a morning procession that kicked off from Thamel and concluded on the NTB premises passing through Durbar Marg and Ghantaghar. Government officials, office-bearers and staffers of the NTB, office-bearers of different travel trade associations, tourism entrepreneurs and tourism colleges, among others, participated in the procession.
The World Tourism Day is celebrated throughout the world on September 27. But the government preponed the celebration to September 25, citing Dashain festival. The slogan for this year’s celebration is ‘Sustainable Tourism: A Tool for Development’.
At the program organized on the NTB premises, Tourism Secretary Maheshwor Neupane awarded top foreign currency earners from different categories. Soaltee Crowne Plaza received the honor from the hotels category, while Flight Connection and Himalayan Encounter were awarded from travel agencies and trekking agencies categories, respectively. Similarly, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) received the award from the airlines category, while Chandragiri Hills was awarded in recognition of its contribution for sustainable tourism development.
At the program, Village Tourism Promotion Forum Nepal announced three villages as the model village for sustainable village tourism. Salang village of Dhading, Pitlek of Syangja and Kunchhal village of Makwanpur have been selected as model villages on the occasion of 38th World Tourism Day. These villages have been providing home stay service for domestic and international tourists.
Speaking at the program, Secretary Neupane said that number of tourists has increased this year compared to last year. “Tourist arrivals could reach the one million mark by the end of this year,” Neupane added. He also stressed the need to bring new and creative ideas and planning to promote Nepali tourism products and services in the international market.
As many as 50 events are being organized across the country by 22 tourism organizations as part of celebrating the 38th World Tourism Day.
Model home stay villages
Pitlek, Syangja: Pitlek village, situated in Waling municipality of Syangja district, has 70 households of Gurung, Magar, Brahmin and other marginalized groups. The village offers breathtaking view Mt Annapurna and Mt Dhaulagiri. Seven households in the village have been providing home stay service. They offer guests local cuisines. The villages lies 260 kilometers west of Kathmandu.
Kunchhal, Makwanpur: Kunchhal village, which has 150 households, is located 60 kilometers away from Kathmandu in Thaha Municipality. Newars are the dominant ethnic groups in the village. Tourists in the village can enjoy traditional Newari dances performed by the locals. Four households in the village are providing home stay service. A view point, which lies at a lying two hours’ walk from the village offers magnificent views of Mt Annapurna, Mt Manaslu and Mt Dhaulagiri.
Sidlek Salang, Dhading :Sidlek is situated 75 kilometers away from Kathmandu and has 70 households. Twelve households in Aaamkot locality and 14 in Maidan are currently providing home stay facility. Magar, Gurung and Brahmin are the dominant groups here. They serve local cuisines prepared from locally available products to tourists.