Round-up of the Himalayan and adventure travel and tourism news from October 19 to 20, 2013
October 19, 2013
An insight into Chinese tourist market in Nepal
The number of Chinese travelers to Nepal has been increasing by leaps and bounds but the stay duration has fallen from 10.14 days in 2011 to 8.82 days in 2012. An insight into the Chinese tourist market reveals many interesting facts such as
- Pokhara is emerging as the favorite destination of the Chinese.
- Chinese throng Nepal during January –mid February.
- Chinese prefer soft adventure activity options available in Pokhara: jungle safari and paragliding.
- Number of Chinese trekkers is slowly increasing.
- Chinese spend USD 60-70 per day.
- Chinese prefer group travel.
- Many new Chinese bars and restaurants have been built in Pokhara.
- Due to increase in the number of Chinese travelers, Pokhara became an all year destination.
Challenges Nepal face:
- Nepal does not have enough number of Chinese-speaking travel guides and Chinese food options.
- Nepal-Tibet border crossing formalities have some issues that prohibit the travel between China and Nepal.
(Source of Information: Kaski. (2013, October 19). Chinese arrivals revitalize Pokhara’s tourism sector. Ekantipur.com Retrieved from http://www.ekantipur.com/2013/10/19/business/chinese-arrivals-revitalise-pokharas-tourism-sector/379503.html.)
TAAN plans to promote trekking tourism
The trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) planned a number of measures to promote trekking tourism:
- Engaging visitors to Nepal in different activities
- Bishnumati Clean Up Campaign
- Promoting tourism at the 41st ISAAME Conference of Lion Club in December, 2013
- Awareness campaign among domestic tourists
- Testing Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMs)
- Identifying alternative destinations in mid and western development regions
- Promotion of water, eco, festival, and agro tourism
- “Farmer to family” campaign
- Trekking tourism packaging program: improving guide services, training programs for multilingual guides
- Overcoming illegal trekking operations
(Source of information: (2013, October 19). TIMS will go online after Tihar. Republica. Retrieved from http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=63170)
Anand, Kazi, and Ravindra to get Sikkim Khel Ratna in 2014
The Sikkim State Government decided to honor Mr. Anand Gurung, Mr. Kazi Sherpa, and Mr. Ravindra Kumar, who climbed Mount Everest in May 2013, with the Sikkim Khel Ratna Award and a cash prize of one million rupees. Anand is the youngest Sikkimese to climb the mountain. Kazi conquered the mountain second time. Ravindra is the first Indian IAS officer to scale Everest. The awards would be distributed on the Republic Day, January 26, 2014.
(Source of Information: (2013, October 19). Rupees ten lakh for Everesters as reward from state govt. Voice of Sikkim. Retrieved from http://voiceofsikkim.com/2013/10/19/rupees-ten-lakh-for-everesters-as-reward-from-state-govt/)
Nepal would have 13 peaks taller than 8,000 meters from October 2014
The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) await consent of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (I.M.F.) and Pakistan Alpine Club for recognizing five more peaks taller than 8,000 meters in Nepal. The final decision would be made in UIAA’s general assembly scheduled for October 2014. Thereafter, Nepal would have thirteen peaks taller than 8,000 meters. Currently, Nepal has the following octa-thousanders:
- Mount Everest
- Kanchenjunga Main
- Lhotse Main
Earlier UIAA launched the Agura project for identifying and recognizing new mountain peaks higher than 8,000 meters. The project identifies one peak on China-Pakistan border and five peaks in Nepal. The peaks are
- West Kanchenjunga / Yarlung Khang (8,505 meters)
- Kanchenjunga Central (8,473 meters) on Nepal-India border
- Kanchenjunga South (8,476 meters) on Nepal-India border
- Lhotse Middle (8,413 meters) on Nepal-China Border
- Lhotse Shar (8,400 meters) on Nepal-China border)
- Broad Peak Central (8,047 meters) on Pakistan-China border
Interestingly, the world has twenty-three (23) mountain peaks measuring more than 8,000 meters.
(Source of information: (2013, October 19). UIAA yet to recognize five new 8,000 m peaks. The Himalayan Times. Retrieved from http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=UIAA+yet+to+recognise+five+new+8000m+peaks&NewsID=394302)
Poor air service in HP deters high-end tourism
Poor air connectivity to Himachal Pradesh (H.P.) is affecting high-end tourism segment. In 2011, Shiva Heli Services (Ludhiana, Punjab) and Simm Samm Airways Private Limited (Mumbai) started heli-taxi services within the state. However, high expenditure and poor tourist response forced the companies to shut the shops.
In 2013, revival of heli-taxi services was also unsuccessful because (1) the service providers demanded large subsidies to begin the services and (2) good helipads are not located within and / or near Shimla. The Indian Army did not permit commercial use of Annadale airstrip, located near the state capital. The civilian Jubber Hatti Airport is located far away from the hill station. The state tourism department is trying to restart the service and locate new places for helipads.
(Source of information: Bodh, Anand. (2013, October 19). Hel-taxi service remains grounded. The Times of India. Retrieved from http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-10-19/india/43199077_1_heli-taxi-service-himachal-pradesh-annadale-ground.)
8-month long rock climbing season begins in Belapur
As monsoon returns, climbers kick off an eight-month-long rock-climbing season in Central Business District (C.B.D.) Belapur, Navi Mumbai, India. Girivihar Mountaineering Club maintains the rock climbing trails meandering through Belapur. Natural boulders overlooking Artists’ Village in the district await the climbers. The club also hosts an annual international rock climbing competition in December.
(Source of Information: Noorani, Reza. (2013, October 19). Rock climbing at Belapur, Maharashtra. The Times of India. Retrieved from http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-10-19/travel/43200574_1_climbers-rock-bouldering)
Damming Isimba Falls affects kayaking and rafting business
Damming Isimba Falls on the Nile River would affect adventure tourism activities, especially kayaking and rafting as per Save Adventure Tourism in Uganda (SATU). SATU said that the dam would submerge the world famous white water rapids in Jinja District, the “adventure capital of East Africa”. The safe rapids attract scores of kayakers and rafters around the year.
(Source of Information: (October 2013) Save Adventure Tourism in Uganda. Retrieved from http://saveadventuretourisminuganda.wordpress.com/mission-statement-what-is-threatening-the-niles-adventure-tourism/ and http://saveadventuretourisminuganda.wordpress.com/)
October 20, 2013
Himalayan hosts 3 big challenges for athletes
Himalayan Run and Trek Pvt. Ltd. would host three sports events in the Himalayas in the last week of October 2013.
The Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race
October 25 – November 1, 2013
Starting point: Darjeeling, West Bengal, India.
The route unfolds views of mighty eight-thousanders, Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu.
The most interesting part of the event is “No Age Limit.”
The Mount Everest Bike Rally
October 25 – November 1, 2013
Starting point: Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
The 8-day Mount Everest Challenge Marathon
October 29, 2013
Starting point: Sandakphu in West Bengal, India