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Periodic newsletter issued by Malla Travel & Trek Volume 3, Issue 6, Nov - Dec 2012
Message From CEO
Dear Colleagues,

Visit Lumbini Year 2012, officially launched by the Nepal Government to highlight the birthplace of Gautama Buddha has been deemed a great success. The numbers of pilgrims visiting the birthplace has increased, and so has the investment in hotels and guest houses. We are now waiting for implementation of the Gautama Buddha International Airport master plan in Bhairahawa by 2016.

Malla Travel & Trek Services offers you a plethora of tourism products and activities in the New Year that have helped make Nepal a destination synonymous with warm hospitality and breath-taking natural beauty.

Here’s wishing you all our friends and colleagues Happy New Year 2013!     

Subodh Rana
Chief Executive Officer

Destination News
NEPAL is considering a ban on tourists trekking alone in the Himalayas, officials said, after several foreign visitors were attacked or have disappeared.

Solo travellers would have to be accompanied by at least one porter or guide under proposals being discussed by the Maoist-led caretaker government, tourism ministry spokesman Bal Krishna Ghimire told AFP.

"Isolated cases of disappearances and killing of trekkers have tarnished the image of the country. We think that the compulsory arrangement of a tourist guide for a trekker will ensure their security,'' he said.
KATHMANDU, Nepal — In a bid to make good on the promises made to former Maoist rebels, Nepal unveiled new trekking routes through the battlegrounds of the country's bloody, decade-long insurgency this week.

Christened the Guerrilla Trek, the 14- 19- and 27-day routes will take hikers across rugged mountains, rivers lined with lush wheat fields, caves and centuries old villages, where Maoist soldiers once dug trenches and ambushed government troops.

Now, with a peace deal in place and provisional legislators trying to hammer out a constitution, the government hopes that an influx of tourist dollars will spread wealth further beyond the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara and the Everest region – as the Maoist fighters long demanded.
With a view to promoting honey harvesting as an adventure tourism product, a honey hunting festival was organized in Ghanapokhara of Lamjung district on November 22, 2012.  The event was jointly organized by Beekeepers Association, Lamjung, District Development Committee, Mother’s Group of Ghanpokhara, District Agricultural Development Office, and Lamjung Chamber of Commerce and Industry. More than 100 people attended the festival.  

Honey hunting is one of the important sources of livelihood for the people of Ghalegaon and Ghanpokhara where the locals use indigenous techniques to collect honeycombs from steep cliffs.

Visit Lumbini Year 2012
The upward trend which was interrupted in October 2012 continues again in the eleventh month of the year showing clearly the rising travel demand towards the destination. The figures released by Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) reveal that visitor arrivals in the month of November 2012, compared to the same month last year, have increased by 2.2% to 59,411 visitors.

The SAARC segment showed a 23% decline compared to the same month last year.  Indian market, considered as a major market, has declined by 21.6%. Similarly, arrivals from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have witnessed negative growths of 37.3% and 24% respectively. However, Pakistan has registered a positive growth of 12.8%.
Arrivals from Asia (other than South Asia) have recorded a positive growth of 20.9% in aggregate. Visitor arrivals from China, one of the fastest growing tourist markets globally and for Nepal, have sustained the growth of 9.6%, compared to the figures in same period in 2011. Similarly, Malaysia (151.4%), Thailand (97.6%), Singapore (31.3%) and Japan (12.5%) have maintained the upward trend. However, arrivals from South Korea (12.2%) have witnessed a negative growth.
European markets have registered overall growth of 3.1%. Arrivals from UK, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Russia have increased by 18.3%, 14.7%, 3.2%, 2% and 17.7% respectively. Arrivals from France and Spain have declined by 7.1% and 22.6% respectively compared to the same month last year.

Arrivals from Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America have registered positive growth of 29.5%, 30.50% and 12.6% respectively, whereas arrivals from Canada have declined by 10.3%.
The aggregate growth for the period between January-November 2012 has sustained a growth of 10.4% as compared to same period last year. A total of 84,729 foreign tourists departed from TIA in November 2012, a positive growth of 12.35% as compared to the same month last year.

Soaltee awarded prize
Soaltee Crowne Plaza has won the Today’s Travellers Award 2012 for Best International Business Hotel in Nepal 2012.
The hotel has received the award for best business hotel in the year 2008 as well.

New Wing at Radisson
In the newly completed building adjoining the Radisson hotel there are 105 contemporary rooms suitable for both the business and leisure travelers. All rooms located at the Radisson new wing are elegantly designed and are gracefully furnished with business class facilities. Each room possesses hardwire internet cable connection which makes the internet superfast. All Premium rooms are spacious having see-through bathroom along with rain shower facility and modern lighting plus audio system. As a result, the rooms are ideal for business travelers as well as holiday makers.
Located on the 3rd floor, The Coffee Shop having a spectacular view of the main building & the city provides buffet breakfast for the in- house guests.  Very soon an evening specialty restaurant will be created in the same place. The highlight of this extension is a beautiful rooftop garden perched on the 4th floor is directly accessible from The Coffee Shop. It is ideal for celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions enjoying the cool breeze during summer and with magnificent view of the surrounding mountains.

Incentive Trip To Nepal
Pages Jaune (Yellow Pages) France organized their annual incentive trip to Nepal in the first week of December. A total of 240 persons received the travel reward. Malla Travel along with its counterpart in India Mintcentive was involved in organizing and delivering a flawless program. The highlights of the program included an Everest Base Camp theme event at Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, prayer and blessing by the chief monk of Shechen Monastery, goodwill visit and painting of Bamboo School by participants and a nostalgic Hippy Night with music and attire evocative of a bygone era at the popular Busy Bee restaurant in lakeside Pokhara.

Malla Travel offers a wide range of itinerary and theme events for incentive groups with its slogan, “Top of the World for the Top Achievers”.

Tourists Arriving Overland to Nepal

Tourist arrivals via surface route have increased 8.82 per cent to 162,549 in the first 10 months of 2012, according to government statistics.

The country welcomed 656,568 tourists (by air and land) from January to October 2012, up 10.61 percent year on year. In 2011, a total of 736,215 foreign tourists (545,221 by air and 190,994 by land) visited Nepal.  Among the seven land entry points (Kodari, Kakkarbhitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Kanchanpur, Dhangadhi and Nepalgunj), Bhairahawa received 106,937 visitors, up 9.06 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The south-western border point of Bhairahawa, the gateway to Lumbini, accounted for 66 per cent of the total overland arrivals followed by Kodari on the Chinese border. Travel trade entrepreneurs said that the Bhairahawa figure shows an increase in pilgrimage to Lumbini as the purpose of visit. Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

However, they said that the growth in foreign visitors through Bhairahawa has been nominal with the country celebrating Visit Lumbini Year 2012. The government campaign has targeted attracting 500,000 foreign tourists to Lumbini this year.

Meanwhile, Chinese arrivals through Kodari border with Tibet saw a rise of 10.7 percent to 44,638 in the first 10 months of 2012.

Air Miles

Malaysia Airlines starts flights to Kathmandu

Malaysia Airlines has begun its thrice-weekly flights to Kathmandu, with the inaugural flight departing for Nepal's capital from KL International Airport at 8.55 am on September 31, 2012.

The KL-Kathmandu flights will be on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, MAS commercial director Dr Hugh Noel Dunleavy told reporters after the flight took off. MAS would operate a Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 144 economy class and 16 business class seats on the route, he said, adding that Kathmandu offered great potential for travellers and that it was a growing vacation spot catering to all budgets.

Dunleavy said that with the availability of the flight, he hoped to see a significant growth in traffic between Kuala Lumpur and Kathmandu. The introduction of the flight to Kathmandu is in line with MAS' continued effort to strengthen its regional market presence. With the flight to Kathmandu, MAS now operates 47 international routes.

"The flight will also offer an alternative for Nepalese migrant workers in Malaysia wanting to return to their country on holiday."

Your Agency News
New Staff in Inbound
We are pleased to have new staff looking after our Inbound Department. Ms. Jyotsna Malla has joined in the position of Assistant Manager Tours and brings in a wealth of experience garnered from long stints with Nepal’s leading travel companies. Navaraj Shrestha has joined as Tour Executive and Ravi Rayamajhi as Junior Tour Executive. I am confident they will be competitively looking after your requirements with care and precision.
  Malla Travel & Trek Services
Samakhushi Marg (near Children Park), P.O. Box 2036
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel : +977 01 4365900 | Fax : +977 01 4365488
Email : info@mallatravels.com.np