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Nepal wins Observer Travel Award 2002         5/31/2002 

Thousands of travellers have voted Nepal as their favorite long-haul country. This was the result of the readership poll carried out by the Observer and the Guardian newspapers, well known publications of the United Kingdom. Surveys after surveys are now reconfirming what came through time and again in feedback from visitors and in overseas press coverage.  

More than 15,000 people responded the questionnaire published in January 2002 in which readers were asked to rate the quality of services they received, under 20 headings. The result of the survey, published on Sunday Observer on May 26, 2002, places Nepal in the second position with a score of 94.95 percent while New Zealand retains its first position with a 95.59 percent.

Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board, Mr. Pradeep Raj Pandey says, "Such recognition from travellers is excellent for Nepal. It certainly reaffirms Nepal's reputation as a destination offering the best of scenery and adventure, multitude of possibilities to have a great holiday and inhabited by the most friendly and charming people."

The latest accolade follows six months after Nepal was voted second in the Top Country Category out of the 180 countries in the Wanderlust Travel Awards 2001.

Those planning a trip this season will want to take note of the line-up of activities in Nepal. His Majesty's Government of Nepal has announced Destination Nepal Campaign 2002-2003 (DNC 2002-2003) which will bring together all the best Nepal has to offer. Some of the major programs incorporated with the DNC are the "International Year of Mountains 2002"; "Mt. Everest Golden Jubilee Celebrations 2002-2003" commemorating the first conquest of Mt. Everest in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa; and "International Year of Eco Tourism 2002".

The conquest of Sagarmatha or Mt. Everest, the tallest peak in the world, is being celebrated from June 1, 2002 to May 31, 2003 with a variety of programs. The one-year long Golden Jubilee programs include several sporting and other events like international cricket tournament, white water rafting, golf, rock climbing, football, cross country relay race, mountain-bike race, bowling, gliding, elephant polo competition, photo and other exhibitions and so on.

Adding dazzling color to Nepal's myriad attractions are the festivals that dot the calendar. "Hundreds of annual festivals are celebrated throughout the year in traditional style highlighting enduring customs and beliefs. We look forward to welcoming visitors to join us in our celebrations", says Mr. Pandey.

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