Since it was Republic Day holiday on Saturday (January 26, 2013), there was no weekly round-up of adventure travel and tourism news. This post therefore summarizes news of two weeks, January 14-27, 2013.
Nepal-India Tourism Mart begins
Nepal-India Tourism Mart, the first of its kind, inaugurated in Lumbini, Nepal. This was a joint venture of Nepal Tourism Board (N.T.B.), the Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation (Nepal) and the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. Lumbini Peace Marathon was organized to conclude the Visit Lumbini Year 2012.
Heli skiing in Pir Panjal
Himalaya Sports offers heli skiing services in Gulmarg. This season the company is offering trips in Pir Panjal Range, including peaks measuring 5,000 meters. The services are available at Gulmarg and Sonmarg.
Web-based TIMS for trekking in Nepal
Nepal Tourism Board (N.T.B.) and the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) are working on a web-based Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) to issue trekking permits online. The system is likely to become operational in the next month. Trekkers will fill online applications for the permit and receive a unique code. They can show the code and collect the permits from the check posts located at the entry point of the trekking route.
The government will charge a trekking permit fee: US$20 per person for free independent travelers (FITs), US$ 10 per person for groups, US$ 3 per person for South Asian groups using services of trekking agencies and US$ 6 per person for South Asian FITs.
Gecko’s using swear words in rebranding campaign
Gecko’s Adventures, the Australian adventure travel operator, launches new brochure and redesigned website. The new tagline is “May your heart be light, your step swift and your stories fucking epic.” Surprisingly, the company is using swear words in the new campaign. Check website of the adventure travel company.
Gulmarg introduces ice stock sport
The Indian Icestocksport Federation and Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department launched ice stock sport at Ice Rink in Gulmarg. The department sponsored the first 5-day coaching camp for men and boys. Another camp exclusively for girls and ladies is scheduled for February. Thereafter, state and national level championship will be organized.
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ACC agrees to reduce levies on adventure tourism
ACC, New Zealand-based personal injury cover provider, agreed to reduce levies for the local adventure tourism operators. The reduction is based on analysis of previous claims and real risks. The Tourism Industry Association (TIA) that negotiated with ACC feels that several businesses will be benefited. The cut will range from $0.48 to 3.48 for each payroll valued $100. Get more information about new levy system.
New tourism projects for J&K
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) gets approval for the following tourism projects:
Picnic spot, Pahalgam
Budget hotel, Aharbal
Kashmir Haat, Chinar Bagh
Sarbal Lake development, Veering
Tourism Reception Center, Yousmarg
Laser /multimedia show, Dal Lake
Light and sound show, Shalimar Bagh
Doodpathari Tourist Resort development
You can read the complete list of tourism projects.
Rules for protected areas relaxed
According to the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur, and parts of Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir are “protected areas.” People from foreign countries require permission to visit these areas. However, the government has relaxed the permit rule to visit three of these states (Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur) for one year.
- Dalhousie won the Favorite Hill Destination Award from Outlook Traveller.
- Maghe Sankranti Festival 2013 celebrated at Jorethang playground in Sikkim.
- 2013 Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (shAFF) announced Single Shot Photography Competition. shAFF is scheduled for March 1, 2013. Buy your ticket.
- Spark Adventures won the Best Adventure Tours Award during Garden City College (Bangalore) (GCC) Travel Puraskar event held in January 2013.
- The State of Uttarakhand would participate in ITB Berlin 2013 for the first time.
- The government of Uttarakhand banned all land dealings within 2-kilometer-radius of Corbett Tiger Reserve to stop land encroachments.
- Zuluk Village in Sikkim offers a home stay experience in beautiful environs. Both the home stay properties feature en suite bathrooms. The tariff amounts to INR 1,200 per night inclusive of traditional meals. Read the full story.