News from Nepal and Bhutan
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NAC resumes flights to Bangalore & Mumbai

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has resumed scheduled flights to Bangalore & Mumbai. NAC will fly two times a week to both the cities. NAC will fly to Mumbai on Mondays and Fridays, while flights to Bangalore will be operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays. NAC has also said that it would increase flight frequency to both the Destinations to three times a week very soon. One way fare to both destinations from Kathmandu has been fixed at NRs10, 092, while two- way fare to Bangalore and Mumbai from Kathmandu has been set at NRs 20,893 and NRs 21,067, respectively.

National Tourism Promotion Committee (NTPC) launches logo, slogan for campaign

Nepal is open for business and welcomes all tourists, this is the message that the National Tourism Promotion Committee (NTPC) is communicating to the world through a new promotional logo and slogan. The NTPC, along with all stakeholders in the tourism industry, wishes to convey that Nepal is safe for visitors and that there is just as much to see and do in Nepal as there was before. Most of Nepal's cultural monuments, trekking and mountaineering trails and tourist attractions are up and running, ready to welcome visitors. The logo and slogan are part of a concerted effort to revitalise the tourism industry and tell the world that life in Nepal is back to normal.

Nepal gets new constitution and elates Toursim

Nepal's decades-long wait for the new constitution through people's representatives is over, the new constitution of Nepal have been announced on 20th September, 2015. Endorsed by people's representatives, this constitution is the document of common commitment for protecting freedom, geographic integrity, independence and sovereignty vested in people. The new constitution would protect and promote Nepal's ethnic, lingual, religious, cultural and geographic diversity, giving an opportunity to strengthen unity in diversity and end discrimination and inequalities.

Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board Prachandaman Shrestha said the new constitution has inspired the entire business sector giving a political outlet to the long-standing political impasse. He insist it has also inspired the tourism entrepreneurs to make new investments.

Nepal to Build 'Motorable' Road to Everest Base Camp

The Nepal government plans to build a motorable road up to the Mount Everest base camp in the next two years. Nepal government has already started the construction of a 22-km road from Salleri, the district headquarters of Solukhumbu, to Surkhe village, a two-hour walk from Lukla. After Surkhe, another small extension will be made which will take travellers straight to Khumbu.

Danish Crown Prince Frederik Visited Nepal

Crown Prince of Denmark Frederik arrived in the capital on a five-day private visit to Nepal on 17th September, 2015. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed that Frederik landed in Kathmandu at noon and stayed in Kathmandu Valley and also visited Lamjung district before returning home on September 21.

Super Luxurious Vehicles on Kathmandu-Pokhara Routes

A transport committee in Pokhara has just launched the Super luxurious vehicles on Kathmandu-Pokhara routes. The seats are comfortable sofa-like and the position of the seats can be controlled using the remote control by the passengers. The passengers can sleep on them and can order for the food and drinks like coffee, tea, cold drinks and juice from the mini bar set up in the drivers's cabin, just by ringing a bell in side of the seat. Similarly, passengers can also get to watch movies on a 48 inch TV screen inside the buses comfortably with the air-conditioner. The floor of the bus is fully carpeted. Passengers will be served by crew members who will be wearing uniform similar dresses of air hostesses and pilots. Similarly, passengers will also have separate luggage box and luggage tags for the safety.

Famous Mountaineer Junko Tabei in Kathmandu to celebrate 40th Year of ascent of Everest

Famous mountaineer Junko Tabei is the first woman to climb Mt Everest came all the way from Japan to Nepal; she also became the first woman in the world to reach the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. The renowned Japanese mountaineer, who came Nepal on 22 Sep with more than 35 Japanese trekkers to support the country's tourism economy in the aftermath of devastating quake. She appealed world climbers and visitors to come to Nepal as the country needed more tourists now than ever. She also mentioned that Everest Trekking Route is all safe for visitors in the aftermath of April earthquake.

Himalayan Air Festival Kicks off in Pokhara

Himalayan Air Festival Garuda Fun, organized on 26 September, 2015 on the occasion of World Tourism Day. The festival was organized to promote the tourism sectors in the country. On the occasion, the adventure sports like paragliding, ultra light aircraft and power paragliding has been organized in Pokhara. Tools of the sports machines are printed on clothes of Hindu god and goddess like Shiva, Parbati and Laxmi among others. A total of 50 pilots, including 35 foreigners, and 15 nationals were participating in the event.

Buddha Dordenma consecrated: Sept 25th

Consecration: Dedicating it to the 60th birth anniversary celebration of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo, His Holiness the Je Khenpo consecrated the 201 feet tall Buddha Dordenma statue at the Kuenselphodrang in Thimphu. One of the biggest Buddha statues in the world, its construction began in 2006. About 20 individuals from Singapore, Taiwan, Hongkong, and China sponsored the construction of the statue. Choethuen Tshogpa's general secretary Lam Tshering Wangdi said the construction works would complete in the next two years at the earliest. Construction of various statues in the three-storied lhakhang inside the statue and its seat is at different stages. His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo, members of the Royal Family, the monk body, and senior government officials attended the consecration ceremony.

Thimphu Tshechu: 23rd – 25th September

One of the biggest festivals in the country is the Thimphu Tshechu. This festival was held in the capital city for three days beginning on 10th day of the 8th month of lunar calendar. This Tshechu was witnessed by thousands of people many of which travel from neighboring Dzongkhags (districts) to attend the festivities. The actual Tshechu is preceded by days and nights of prayer and rituals to invoke the gods.

Tashi Air launches New Delhi flights

Private airline Tashi Air (Bhutan Airlines) launched its inaugural commercial service to New Delhi. The airline will be flying to New Delhi, twice a week, on Sundays and Wednesdays, via Kathmandu. Commercial director, Ugyen Tenzin, said that the airline expects good demand for its services on the sector as New Delhi serves as a transit hub to Europe. He added that there is much potential on the route. He pointed out that Tashi Air can now cater to all travel agents as many have clients entering Bhutan from New Delhi. The sector is the third most travelled after Bangkok and Kathmandu.

Bhutan celebrates World Tourism Day

Some 34 students from 14 schools in Thimphu participated in the on-the-spot painting competition organised by Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) to celebrate World Tourism Day at Tarayana conference hall. The competition's theme "One billion tourists, One billion opportunities," was held in three categories. The painting theme for higher secondary school was 'Buying local or Respect local culture,' while 'Save energy' and 'Protect heritage' were the themes for middle and lower secondary schools respectively.

A total of nine winners, three from each category were awarded cash prizes of Nu 10,000 each to the first, Nu 7,000 and Nu 5,000 for second and third winners.

TCB spokesperson Damcho Rinzin said the annual event is celebrated worldwide on September 27 to create awareness on tourism and its impact on social, cultural, environmental, political and economic values.

Home and Cultural affairs secretary Dasho (Dr) Sonam Tenzin said Bhutan had a maximum of about 2,000 tourists coming in every year for a long time and the number was restricted to 2,500 every year because of the fear that many people will come in and destroy the culture, environment, and influence the young people.