• Is Nepal Safe for Travelers?

    Ramesh Tiwari
    June 2, 2015
    Is Nepal Safe for Travelers?

    By Kraig Becker —

    The April 25 earthquake that devastated Nepal continues to have a far-reaching impact on the country, and will no doubt shape its future for decades to come. Now that things have calmed down there to a degree, the rebuilding and recovery process is finally getting underway at long last.

    In addition to the significant damage done to Nepal’s infrastructure, and the tragic loss of life, the country is now facing another major challenge in terms of how it will rebuild its economy in the wake of this disaster. Recent reports estimate that $10 billion of damage was done by the quake, which is half of the country’s GNP. That may be hardest challenge to overcome of them all.

    Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, and its remote rural regions depend on tourism to survive. But foreign travelers are nonexistent in the country at the moment, as many travel companies have cancelled their tours, and are taking a “wait and see” attitude as to when they could possibly return. The Ministry of Tourism issued a statement saying that most parts of the country are safe and free from problems, including the famous trekking routes to Annapurna and Everest. But a number of villages have been completely flattened in those areas, and many of the the traditional teahouses that typically house visitors along those hikes have suffered some damage too.While those areas may be safe, they don’t necessarily have the infrastructure in place to support visitors right now.

    It is true that much of the damage from the earthquake is found in just 8 of the country’s 75 districts. Only one of its national parks has been affected, and all highways and roads are said to be open. Of the 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, two have been damaged and are already starting to be repaired. About 90% of the hotels in Kathmandu Valley are open, and accepting visitors, and all airports are open and operating too.

    Knowing all of that, it is technically safe to travel in Nepal at the moment, but that doesn’t mean it is is a good place to be. There is a lot of clean-up that needs to be done, and the people there are only now starting to heal. While the government is ready to get the tourism economy going once again, the average Nepali person is still busy putting their lives back together. The road to recovery is going to be a long one, and tourism will eventually have a part to play. But for now, it simply isn’t time to go unless you are there to help contribute to the recovery process. http://adventuretravel.about.com/

    The outpouring of support for Nepal from the outdoor and adventure travel community has been impressive to say the least. Dozens of companies have joined together to raise funds for the struggling country, while others, such as Eureka!, have donated tents, sleeping bags, and other gear to help protect Nepali citizens, many of whom no longer have homes. But there are a number of other initiatives in motion as well, some of which are designed to have a long lasting impact on Nepal’s future. For instance, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has announced that it plans to hold AdventureWeek Rebound-Nepal to bring a focus on the return of tourism to the country. There is no date set for the event just yet, but the ATTA is considering possibly holding it as soon as this summer, most likely post-monsoon season.

     ( The writer is Adventure and Outdoor travel expert . Courtesy : adventuretravel.about.com  June 1, 2015 )

    • Connecting you with the world of travel and tourism

      News Brief

      Kabul: Afghan security forces have regained control of Intercontinental Hotel, hours after the gunmen burst into the hotel shooting at guests and staff. At least five civilians were killed and six were injured in the siege. Three of the attackers have been killed and more than 150 guests were rescued. No group has said it carried out the attack, but the Taliban targeted the Intercontinental hotel in 2011.

      Beijing: China’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2017 according to official data – the first time in seven years the pace of growth has picked up. The figure beats Beijing’s official annual expansion target of about 6.5%. Gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 82.71 trillion yuan (about 12.84 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2017, with the service sector accounting for more than half of the total.

      Shanghai: China Eastern Airlines and other domestic airlines have begun to allow mobile phone use on their aircraft or announced plans to lift a ban. China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines began to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices (PED), such as smartphones and tablets.China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines announced they would allow mobile phone use on all their flights this week. – Agencies

      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

      Wildlife in Chitawan , Nepal

      Window of Nepal Tourism

      http://www.nepaltournews.com/