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 Nepal News: Press Release from Nepal Tourism Board 01/01/02

His Majesty's Government of Nepal has come up with various policy decisions in the spheres of immigration & Visa rules, Film shooting & fees, relief packages in view of reinvigorating the tourism industry of Nepal for sustainable development. These policy decisions will certainly have a cascading effect in attaining competitive strength at a time when price elasticity of the travelers is too high. Major policy decisions recently announced include:

-There would be only two categories of visas-single entry and multiple entry instead of three types at present. The fee for single entry visa would be US$ 30, while the multiple with a five-month limit would cost US$ 50. Tourists arriving between January 1 to July 15 next year would be issued one day visa free of cost.

-A one-window system wold be set up at the Ministry of information and Communications to complete all necessary formalities relating to shooting of films. The shooting fee for Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpa has been reduced drastically from US$ 40,000/- to US $5,000/- and the filming fees at other places have been fully waived.

Likewise, Hotels can now settle their electricity bills in quarterly installments instead of monthly payments and credit repayment has been rescheduled for one year. As per the statement of the Government, it is considering reducing taxes on Indian vehicles entering Nepal to attract visitors from the southern neighbor.

His Majesty's Government of Nepal expects to generate more attraction to the global expedition members in Nepal's mountaineering field opened up one hundred & three himalayan peaks for Mountaineering and some changes have been made in the Provision of Liaison Officer

As per the Cabinet decision of His Majesty's Government (HMG) of Nepal dated December 20, 2001 (2058-9-5) a total of 103 Himalayan peaks in the Kingdom of Nepal, have been opened up for mountaineering with effect from Spring season (March 1, 2002). With this addition, the total number of mountaineering peaks opened for mountaineering has reached 263.

The opening up of these peaks in the context of celebrating Destination Nepal Year 2002-2003, International Year of Mountains 2002 and Golden Jubilee Celebration Year on the successful ascent of Mount Everest 2003 will help develop Nepal as a premier events especially in the mountain tourism in the international arena. This step is also expected to contribute to develop the deprived and backward sectors from the viewpoint of Nepal's mountain tourism development.

In addition to this, as per the same decision, HMG has revised the existing mandatory system of deputing the Liaison Officer to every expedition team to the Himalayan peaks. As per the current provision peaks ranging below 6500 meters including the old and new do not require Liaison Officer anymore with effect from upcoming Spring season 2002 (March 1, 2002). As per the new system, expedition to 89 Himalayan peaks do not require the service of Liaison Officer.

Amidst a varieties of campaign forwarded by the Government, INGO and private sector, Kathmandu looks every bit a metropolis all set to host the upcoming SAARC Summit from January 4-6, 2001. Roads have been widened, repaired, and black topped. Footpaths for pedestrians are now wider and properly paved.

After a multi million-dollar facelift, Kathmandu city looks all spruced up and upbeat -reflecting the general mood of its population. And it is an indication of greater things to come. "Our natural attractions, friendly people and rich cultural heritage have always been synonymous with Nepal's image overseas. These characteristics are now joined with more contemporary images of its capital city -Kathmandu - such as better roads, good food and wine, the latest in infrastructure and conventions facilities, fashion and cosmopolitan lifestyle." says Mr. Keshav Sthapit, Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City.

And speaking about safety, the security situation of Kathmandu, though never a cause for concern, has gotten better in the recent times," says Mr. Sthapit.

"The upcoming SAARC Summit will provide a greater opportunity to showcase the myriad of attractions of Kathmandu where natural beauty rises dramatically from every horizon, and shrines, temples and stupas grace every other corner," further adds Mr. Sthapit.

As another sports event, a group of Australian motorcycle enthusiast is not letting the currently depressed world tourism climate interfere with their intention to ride the roof of the world. Sydney based tour operator Ferris Wheels Motorcycle safaris will be brining a group of 21 Aussie riders, including several ladies, to Kathmandu for New Year's Eve celebrations. All mounted on 500 cc Enfield motorcycles, the group arrived in the capital on December 29, 2001. The group is riding across Nepal, from the eastern border to the west. Their activities here in Kathmandu include a scenic flight to Mt. Everest and participating in the world's highest bungy jump over the Bhote Koshi river.

With all these policy changes and His Majesty's Government paying heed to the urgent concerns of private sectors, the challenges are being encountered collectively for reaping a tangible outcome thereby establishing the country's image of premier holiday destination.

Earlier Story

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