TAAN Delegation Visits MoCTCA Ministry

KATHMANDU, January 28: A delegation from Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal visited Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Minister, Jitendra Narayan Dev with a view to apprise issues and obstacles in tourism industry.  
The delegation, which was led by TAAN President Nava Raj Dahal handed over a 13-point memorandum to the Minister Dev advocating for quiet diplomacy with an emphasis on development and welfare of mountain tourism. The delegation also had a brief introductory program with the Minister.

A highlight of the visit was a debate upon hazard facing by trekking entrepreneurs due to illegal operation of trekking business and various obstacles.

The primary topics of discussion included: (i) Illegal operation of trekking business; (ii) Taking porter & guide as mandatory while trekking; (iii) Double and expensive permit fees; (iv) Practicing TAX & VAT invoices during trekking; (v) Prospective plans to cut off entry fees and operate TIMS in an effective way; (vi) Reopening TIMS check post at Khumbu Pasang Rural Municipality; (vii) Funds raising for environment conservation & protection of garbage disposal system; (viii) Proper management at airport; (ix) Granting permit to trekkers by presenting a copy of passport, also making the copy of TAAN Membership certificate mandatory and demand companies’ document in yearly basis; (x)collecting permit fees from the department meanwhile bank are closed; (xi) Distributing mountaineering certificate to foreign citizens; (xii) Systematic management of tourist bus park; (xiii) Involvement of tourist police at various touristic places.

During the visit, Minister Jitendra Narayan Dev was very positive towards the issues presented by the delegation on behalf of all trekking entrepreneurs. He assured to work genuinely for the easy going and benefits of tourism business to promote and develop Nepalese tourism industry.

Along with President Dahal, Senior Vice- President Khum Bahadur Subedi, First Vice- President Jeeban Thapa Magar, General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa, Treasurer Ramkrishna Timalsina, Members Gopal Shrestha, Ram Bahadur Khadka, Jeevan Lama, Mahesh Kumar Budha, Baburam Gurung, P.K. Sherpa, Chandra Gurung, Suk Bahadur Lama, Surya Bahadur Bhetwal, C.E.O. Tek Bahadur Mahat and Media Officer Subina Manandhar were present at the delegation. 

TAAN felicitates New Board members of NTB, NATTA, PATTA Nepal Chapter, TURGAN, Nepal Magar Tourism Society and Tourist Bus Association

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) conducted a program on 31st January, 2018 to congratulate and felicitate newly appointed board members of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) as well as new executive committee members of  Nepal Association of Tours & Travel Agents (NATTA), PATA Nepal Chapter, Tourist Guide Association of Nepal (TURGAN), Nepal Magar Tourism Society and Tourist Bus Association.

TAAN General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa began the program with a welcome speech. TAAN President Navaraj Dahal congratulated and felicitated the new board members of NTB and executive members of NATTA, PATA Nepal Chapter, TURGAN and Nepal Magar Society with khadas and garland.

During the occasion President Dahal called on all tourism associations to work hand in hand for uplifting Nepalese tourism. “We need to come together to solving the issues of trekking, travel, hotels etc. Every umbrella tourism association must raise their voice and identify and overcome obstacles. For instance, the operation of illegal treks without porter or guide can directly affect employment opportunities in trekking industry. TAAN is formulating new plans and policies to address illegal trekking activities. In the mean time I request Nepal Tourism Board to utilize TIMS budget in joint coordination with TAAN.”

Harping on the slogan, “Think positive, Do positive”, NATTA’s 1st Vice President Achyut Sharma Guragain also invited all tourism associations for joint action to solve respective issues. He sought support and help from NTB for the upcoming China Sales Mission being organized by NATTA.

Sunil Shakya, President of PATA-Nepal Chapter, presented the vision to bring 50 lakhs tourist till 2020 under the banner of National Campaign. “For the mission,” he said, “ to be successful would require homework such as improving the TIA management system, developing & promoting trekking trails and R&D in tourism.

Likewise NTB Board Member, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, acknowledged TAAN for its role in promoting adventure tourism in Nepal. Tourism being an important aspect of the national economy, he assured that NTB will formulate effective plans and policies for promoting Nepalese tourism and asked for regular suggestions from all tourism associations.

Purna Kuwar, another NTB Board Member said that the issues regarding TIMS will be sorted out soon and requested all tourism-related associations to bring forth the positive plans and activities.

TAAN Senior Vice President Khum Bahadur Subedi, Coordinator of the program thanked all the members for their gracious presence. Finally, he wished all the new board members for their auspicious tenure in the organization. 

TAAN Delegation visits new MoCTCA Secretary

Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) delegation visited newly appointed Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Secretary Krishna Prashad Devkota on 7th February, 2018.

The delegation led by President Nava Raj Dahal congratulated Secretary Devkota by offering bouquet and khadas and wished for his successful tenure. Speaking on the occasion, President Dahal articulated TAAN’s objective to promote Nepalese mountain tourism. He said- "There are some issues like illegal operation of trekking business which the government should look into immediately. Trekkers are mandatory to take at least a guide or porter to reduce the accidents during trekking. Similarly, TIMS must be operated in an effective way by terminating entry fees collecting by Khumbu Pasang & Changunarayan Rural Municipality. Likewise, problems in TAX & VAT for transportation and lodges during trekking must be considered. The proper management must be carried out at Airport where tourist gets harassed and misguided.” Dahal said, requesting the Secretary to take needful initiatives for ensuring smooth movement of tourists in restricted areas and revise the permit fees. 

Responding to the delegation, Devkota said he would study demands placed by the private sector and tackle burning issues accordingly. "One agency alone cannot bring change. We need concerted effort of all government agencies to address burning issues of the tourism industry," he added. He thanked the delegation for their warm gesture.

TAAN Senior Vice- President Khum Bahadur Subedi, General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa, Executive Members Gopal Shrestha, Baburam Gurung, P.K. Sherpa, CEO Tek Bahadur Mahat, Media Officer Subina Manandhar and Photographer Pemba Sherpa were present in the delegation.

TAAN Celebrated Joint- Lhosar Cultural Event in Relish

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) celebrated a grand TAAN- Joint Lhosar Cultural Event on Sunday, 11th February, 2018 at Hotel Hyatt, Bouddha.

Lhosar, the new year of different ethnic groups like Gurung, Tamang, Sherpa, Hyolmo and others have been celebrated jointly by TAAN since a long time. Lhosar being a festival of Buddhist, there are 12 different animals celebrated in a year. This year, Lhosar is celeberated as a male dog year “Sa Fo Khi Lo”. Though these ethnic groups are celebrating Lhosar in different dates, TAAN organizes Joint- Lhosar Event annually in its calendar.

The Event kick- started inauguration by the Guest of Honor, the Former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) by lighting up the panas. Speaking at the occasion Guest of Honor, Mr. Dahal presented his gratitude to TAAN for organizing Joint- Lhosar Cultural Event. Saying “tourism being most important industry of Nepal, government will formulate new policies facilitating tourism entrepreneurs” President Dahal assured to plan and draw up the new flanged strategies to uplift Nepalese tourism.

TAAN General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa hosted the program. He said that the majority of the trekking entrepreneurs  being Sherpa, Gurung, Tamang, Holymo & others; TAAN has been celebrating Joint- Lhosar as a tourism product to preserve the Nepalese tradition and culture.

TAAN President Nava Raj Dahal welcomed the entire guest, member agencies and media person present at the event. President Dahal said “TAAN has been celebrating Joint- Lhosar since very long with major objectives to make it as a tourism package. He enlightened to preserve and sustain the culture and tradition of Nepal by promoting the Nepalese tourism in an international arena.” Speaking at the occasion, Dhal highlighted key points facing in tourism industry. Trekking entrepreneurs are facing many hurdles due to the illegal trekking operators. The trekkers without guide and porter have affected the Nepalese tourism business, as accidents and missing cases arises. It will also generate employment opportunity in Nepal if guide and porter are made mandatory during trekking. Similarly, he raised his voice upon expensive & double permit fees. Likewise, he asserted the effective and smooth operation of TIMS. He also articulated the security of airport. Thus, he stated that Nepal is capable to educe 50 lakhs tourist by administering quality service.

Closing the event, the event coordinator Ritu Gyamdan stated that Nepal, a multicultural country can preserve its culture and tradition to promote and prosper Nepalese Adventure tourism. “TAAN has been organizing and celebrating Joint- Lhosar to make it as a national festival which will help to preserve Nepal’s timeless culture and tradition having friendly and brotherhood relationship among tourism entrepreneur.” She added. She lastly thanked all the guests, tourism associates, member agencies and media houses for their over whelming participation to make the Joint- Lhosar a grand event.

The cultural performance by the representatives from the communities – Gurung, Tamang, Sherpa, Holymo and Magar along with other popular Nepalese Artist – Mausam Gurung, Himal Ghale, Milan Lama, Raju Master, Balchi Dhurbe, Gombu Sherpa, Bhumika Giri, Mahadev Tripathi, Pawan Lama, Rajesh Thapaliya, Rashmi Tamang along others foreground the event.

TAAN- Joint Lhosar Event has been supported and sponsored by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), NIC Asia Bank, San Miguel Beer, Himalayan Airlines, Altitude Air, Norvic International Hospital, VIP Restaurant Lounge Bar, Ratna International Tours & Travel.

Likewise, other sponsors are Rupakot Resort, Flight Connection, Ganesh Himal Tourism Development Committee, Mega Bank, Himalayan River Fun resort, Hotel Green Park, Kathmandu Garden Home, Kapa Organic Farm house, Sagarmatha Tent- Tarpouline, Precious Travel, Chandragiti Hills, Digo Paryatan Sahakari, Peak Promotion Trade, Swacon International Hospital, Simrik Air, Shristi Group, Global International Travel, Alliance Treks & Expedition, Bhojan Bhumi, NMB Bank, Wilderness River Treks and Super Luxurious bus. 

TAAN Participates to Promote Kunchhal as New Tourism Destination

Kunchhal Village of Makawanpur District situated at the distance of 35 kms south west from Chaandragiri, Thankot of Kathmandu and 65 km from Naubise, Tribhuvan Highway. It is 60 km from Kulekhani road. Kunchhal is situated in ward no. 6 of Bajrabarahi village and at present in ward no. 1 of Thaha Municipality and is surrounded by Palung in the east, Chitlang in the west and Tistung in the north.
The word ‘Kunchhal’ is derived from a Newari word ‘Kunchaa’ which means a small narrow path. The village used to have a narrow path in past days where people were illiterate and away from facilities. It is believed that this village is settled by the Gwalas (cow herdsmen of Lord Krishna) and the settlement started from the year Nepal Sambat 833, which is prescribed in the historical stone tap situated near the village.

The historical village highlights old stone tap, Ganesh Temple, Gokhureswor Mahadev written in the 64 Piths and old traditional Newari community life styles, Newari festivals, 12 year dances of gods and goddesses and traditional Newari style musical gatherings.  Similar, one can enjoy Newari food, alcohol prepared by buckwheat, curd, ghee, honey and organic vegetables. This village is pocket of Kiwi fruits and can find different seasonal fruits and vegetables. We can see the national flower Rhododendron (Laliguras) during spring and different colourful lands during autumn season.

The village consists of around 1600 population where 250 houses consists only Gopali ethnic groups. The village is worth to visit and enjoy the nature and culture.

Kunchhal being situated 10 km far from beautiful man made Indra Sarowar Lake which is 7 km in length and can experience boat ride like in Fewa lake in Pokhara. During winter we can see the mountain ranges from Daman which is 20 kms to the west of this village. Many people visit this place during winter time when it snows in Daman.

Village Tourism Promotion Forum (VITOF) - Nepal organized a 1 night/2days FAM trip to Kunchhal of Makwanpur district on February 17 & 18, having a motto “every village must be a tourism destination”. Kunchhal Village has also been declared as a tourism destination by Nepal Tourism Board. The trip was supported by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), Gurung Tourism Entrepreneur’s Association (GTEA) and community home stays and local clubs.

Similarly, representatives from DDC Makwanpur, Thaha Muinicipality of Makwanpur, Nepal Tourism Board, Cultural Experts, Private Sectors, Chitlang Community Home Stays were present during the official opening of the program. The govt. officials as well as experts highlighted and stressed on the importance of preserving the Tangible & Intangible Cultural Heritages of Kunchhal and its surroundings so as to develop it as a tourist destination. Tourists come to see the treasures Tangible as well as Intangible Cultural Heritages of Nepal. Nepal is famous in the world for its diverse Natural & Cultural Heritages.

The village people gave a warm welcome to our team offering tika, khada, welcome drinks with their cultural musical instruments. A total of 55 members participated at the program. Each house was divided 5 to 6 people for home stay. Houses of village were made with red mud and woods. The eye structured windows of houses showed an old presence of Newari culture.

The villagers presented cultural dance performance like- Lakhey (a demon) dance, King (Kamdev) - Queen Dance that represents Gopali rituals and traditions.

Ram Prashad Sapkota, the President of VITOF – Nepal stated that VITOF has chosen Kunchhal as the next tourism product among the 3 villages of Nepal in this year. Speaking at the occasion he said “Kunchhal Village has a high potentiality to attract tourist with its overwhelming nature and culture. The tourism package includes a 3 day trek from Chitlang to Kulekhani viewing the best view of nature.” He aware the villagers about home stay which can be initially started with least investment where they can make a proper management and utilization of locally available ingredients. “Village tourism is an important aspect to uplift economic development of local people” he added. 

TAAN President Nava Raj Dahal articulated the importance of village tourism. Villages not only have income source from agriculture but are capable of Village tourism by developing home stay practice utilizing the locally available ingredients. Similarly, he said language also plays a vital role so, the local must be provided trainings. The tourism package can include cycling tour, hiking and trekking which can attract tourist.

District Mayor Ram Krishna Thapa enlightened the potentiality of Agro tourism at Kunchhal village. He said infrastructural development and trainings is must in order to increase the flow of tourist in the upcoming year. He also stated to get a handful support from all local people for developing Kunchhal Village as a tourism destination.

TAAN Delegation Visits the DG of IRD

A delegation of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) visited the Director General of Inland Revenue Department (IRD) on 21st February, 2018. A delegation led by the President Nava Raj Dahal handed 4 point memorandum over to the DG Kishor Jung Karki.

Speaking at the meeting, President Dahal stated the role played by TAAN for uplifting the Nepalese tourism. He raised problems that trekking entrepreneurs faced while filing tax details and appraised the DG about the hassles faced by trekking business due to expensive VAT charges i.e. 13% that makes the trekking package more expensive comparing to its competitors like India, Bhutan and so on. Thus, he requested the DG to reduce the VAT percent for tourism industry.

Similarly, President Dahal solicited the DG to formulate policies to end the management of charging VAT for using transport as labor force, mule and yak during trekking.  Likewise, trekking agents are facing difficulty in submitting details of expenditures made in rural areas where they don’t get tax invoice. “Hotels, lodges and home stay operators do not give tax invoice. Hence, trekking agents are facing difficulties in showing their expenditures,” Dahal said, requesting DG to resolve the issue.

The delegation raised the voice upon 13 % VAT charges for National park and Conservation area permit fees that was implemented in a short- notice. “We don’t want to evade tax; we only want the government to simplify provisions related to tax”, the delegation requested if the VAT is charged, the amount must be separated rather collecting it jointly. Therefore, they were hopeful that the concerned government authority will take the issues seriously.

Likewise, Gopal Shrestha, TAAN Executive Member questioned on charging the VAT on compulsory basis for trekking business.

DG Kishor Jung Karki said that tourism is one of the important sectors that facilitate the economic status of the country. He was positive towards the issues raised by TAAN and thus, assured to discuss the topic and formulate the policies accordingly. Answering about compulsory VAT charged for trekking business, he said “there was the policy to charge compulsory VAT for trekking business till 2072 B.S. but after, there is a threshold of 20 Lakhs of total income.”

TAAN General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa, Secretary Sujan Lamichhane, Treasurer Ram Krishna Timalsina, Executive Members Rajan Prasad Kapri, Gopal Shrestha, Ram Bahadur Kadka, Baburam Gurung, Mahesh Kumar Budha, Media officer Subina Manandhar and Photographer Pemba Sherpa were present at the delegation.  

TAAN welcomed the Joint- Secretary of IRD

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) President Nava Raj Dahal welcomed the Joint- Secretary of Inland Revenue Department (IRD)constituency no- 1,  Jhalak Ram Adhikari at TAAN Secretariat, Maligaun on 25th February, 2018. He raised the voice upon TAX and VAT issues facing by tourism entrepreneurs. He said “We don’t want to evade tax; we only want the government to simplify provisions related to tax”. Thus, he requested Mr. Adhikari to seriously consider the issues raised by TAAN and organize an orientation program related TAX and VAT to TAAN’s member agencies.

IRD Joint- Secretary, Adhikari was very positive towards the issues raised by tourism entrepreneurs and assured to formulate policies favoring affairs raised by TAAN. He also said “we will support TAAN for organizing orientation on TAX and VAT system of Nepal.”

Chitra Gurung, Immediate Past President of VITOF- Nepal and Rishi Ram Bhandari, M.D of Satori Adventure Pvt. Ltd. were also present at the occasion. Both are general members of TAAN. Rishi Ram Bhandari asked for TAAN’s support in order to conduct Annapurna Marathon (Annapurna Century) which is organizing by Annapurna Kathmandu Society Nepal.

TAAN Welcomed Incharge of Tourist Police Unit

On 28th February, 2018 Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) President Nava Raj Dahal welcomed the Incharge of Tourist Police Unit, Rupa Thapa at TAAN Secretariat, Maligaun.

President Dahal stated the interconnected relationship between TAAN and tourist police where both are equally responsible to work hand in hand. He requested tourist police should emphasize more on Thamel area, heritage site and airport area where tourists face many hassles. He also solicited to appoint tourist police who are familiar to English language that will help to assist tourist during any problem.  “We are always ready to support and help you in order to facilitate quality service of the tourist.” said President Dahal.

Rupa Thapa, Incharge of Tourist Police unit ensured TAAN to provide necessary aid. She asked for the probable suggestions required to make Nepalese tourism quality tourism. She also requested TAAN to take proper actions to establish a better working environment for tourist police at Thamel and Bouddha area. She lastly articulated to dial 1144 for any inquiry or help from tourist police.

Sub – inspector, Prakash Regmi recourse upon providing cycle for tourist police at Lumbini and Belaiya.

General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa, Exective Memebers Ritu Gyamdan and Ram Bahadur Khadka, CEO Tek Bahadur Mahat and Media Officer Subina Manandhar were present at the ocassion. 

TAAN Visits Member Secretary of NSC

On February 5, Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) delegation led by the 1st Vice- President Jeeban Thapa Magar visits Mr. Khesav Kumar Bista, the Member Secretary of National Sports Council (NSC).

TAAN 1st Vice- President Magar apprised upon 3rd TAAN International Langtang Marathon that is going to be held on April 25, 2018. He handed over the proposal of 3rd TAAN International Langtang Marathon to Member Secretary Bista stating that TAAN has been organizing this event since two years to mark the anniversary of massive earthquake 2015 that hugely affected Langtang region. “TAAN has launched a trail reconstruction program and constructed bridge in the Langtang Region in association with Germany-based DAV Summit Club.” He added.

NSC Member Secretary, Bista was very positive towards promoting tourism through sports. Hence, he assured to aid TAAN for promoting sports tourism.

TAAN General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa, Media Coordinator Gopal Shrestha, Sports & event Management Coordinator Ritu Gyamdan and CEO Tek Bahadur Mahat were present at the delegation.

TAAN Hold Meeting with NTB

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) hold a meeting at TAAN Secretariat, Maligaun on February 6, 2018 with an agenda about ongoing topic Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS).

TAAN President Nava Raj Dahal enunciated the importance of TIMS for dissuading the illegal trekking operation. The issues raised on TIMS, not only being issue of TAAN or NTB but has become national issue. Stating about the MoU signed between TAAN and NTB, he said that it includes the division of fund as 30 % for TAAN, 30% for NTB, 30% as a joint- fund and remaining 10 % for worker’s welfare. As NTB is not releasing the fund, victims are facing problems. Similarly, TIMS budget cannot be utilized for development activities.

He assured that the required documents will be provided to NTB. Therefore, he requested NTB Board Members to look after the missing documents and take an appropriate action to release the budget. 

NTB Board Member and TAAN Former President Deepak Mahat found TAAN more concerned and enlightened on TIMS. He said that TAAN and NTB must go through an agenda for Nepalese tourism. He stated that NTB also wants the debate of TIMS to be resolved soon and assured to ascertain the internal operation of the board.

TIMS Coordinator, Rajan Prashad Kapri said that NTB must prioritize to release the fund for rescue and death victims and also solicited to discern the documents required. Meanwhile, TAAN Executive Member Gopal Shrestha highlighted upon the solution to release the freeze budget. “If any solution not made, we must go through other options.” they added.

The meeting was hosted by General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa saying the TIMS budget could not be exercised according to the MoU. Hence, requested NTB Board Member to take proper actions and implore for the positive response at the earliest.

Along with TAAN President Dahal, Senior Vice President Khum Bahadur Subedi, 1st Vice- President Jeeban Thapa Magar, 2nd Vice- President Nil Hari Bastola, General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa, Treasurer Ram Krishna Timalsina, Executive Members Ritu Gyamdan, Jeevan Lama, Rabindra Adhikari, Gopal Shrestha, Baburam Gurung, Janga Bahadur Lama, Rajan Prashad Kapri, Ram Bahadur Khadka, P.K. Sherpa, Surya Bahadur Bhetwal, CEO Tek Bahadur Mahat and NTB Board Members Deepak Mahat, Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Awadhesh Kumar Das were present at the meeting.

Nepal Promotion in U.S.A and Canada

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) had organized “Canada- U.S. Sales Mission” on 12th, 15th, 20th and 22nd of February 2018 in Seattle, Los Angeles, Toronto and Montreal respectively with an agenda to promote Nepal Mountain Tourism and extend tourism trade networking in USA and Canada. The event was organized in association with Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and local host organizer, Bannikin Travel and Tourism Canada.

Mr. Jeevan Lama, Coordinator of Nepal Promotion & Exhibition Department led the Delegation of TAAN to the sales mission which was accompanied by CEO of TAAN, Mr. Tek Bahadur Mahat. Similarly, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Manager, Mr. Khadga Bikram Shah represented NTB at the sales mission. Likewise, other six member agencies of TAAN participated to extend their trade networking by business to business (B2B) dealing in the events in different cities. Namely Unique Adventure International Pvt. Ltd, Asian Alpine Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd, Lhasso Adventure Pvt. Ltd, Nepal Footprint Holiday Treks Pvt. Ltd, Adventure Himalayan Travels & Treks Pvt. Ltd. and Himalayan Guides Nepal Treks and Expedition Pvt. Ltd. 

Enormous participation of local travel/tour operators and media and delightful presentation from Nepal delegates made the events a huge success. NTB manager Mr. Khadga Bikram Shah made a presentation highlighting Nepal as an alluring destination and tried to impart great impression among the local tour operators and media on Nepal’s tourism attractions and activities. He also answered the queries raised by the media during the events. Likewise, Mr. Jeevan Lama, Coordinator of TAAN introduced all other Nepal participating companies with their specialties in tourism business and briefed the activities of TAAN in the mountain tourism sector of  Nepal. He said that many visitors at those events expressed their deep interest travelling to Nepal and working with Nepal travel operators into the future.

Similarly, TAAN CEO Mr. Tek Bahadur Mahat did address the events in Seattle and Los Angeles on behalf of TAAN. Nepalese participating trekking/tour operators offered door-prizes to the local tour operators on a lucky draw basis, which was one of the most exciting parts in all the events.

The Coordinator Mr. Lama has funded all his travelling expenses by himself for this sales mission tour. He added that now onward all future sales mission and travel fair coordinators will be bearing their all travelling expenses on their own as per the decision made by TAAN Executive Committee (2017-2019).

TAAN believes that these kinds of sales missions and travel fairs play vital role in the promotion of Nepalese tourism and extend our tourism trade networking in the international market. We hope to organize many such events in upcoming future in different parts of the world and make our member agencies to participate.

TAAN Takes Initiative to Support Everest Expedition 2018

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) visited Department of Tourism (DoT), Senior Division Engineering (S.D.E) Mr. Kosh Nath Adhikari with an agenda to recommend royalty fee and garbage fee free for a month to the 13 young Everest expedition team. 

TAAN President Mr. Nava Raj Dahal handed over the proposal to S.D.E Mr. Kosh Nath Adhikari stating that TAAN being an organization to facilitate trekking and mountaineering, TAAN will be supporting for the step taken by young Everest expedition team. TAAN submitted the proposal for 13 Everest summiteers who belong from different team having their own slogan and agenda to promote Nepalese tourism.

The first female Sherpa Journalist of Nepal Mt. Everest expedition – 2018 has agenda to contribute in achievement of National goal of women empowerment with promotion of Nepal's tourism nationally and internationally. Similarly, with a slogan “Women's     Confidence”, two other women are ready for their Everest Expedition. First Barista Expedition – 2018 with her purpose for serving hand-dip Coffee on the Top of the world. Likewise, with the slogan “Buddha was born in Nepal” two young women are ready for the expedition. Smiling Women Nepal Everest Expedition – 2018, is going for expedition with the motto “Cervical Cancer in Nepal”. Likewise, five team members from Female Journalist Everest Expedition, have their objective as Unified Voice for Equality and the youngest man from Magar Community to climb Mt. Everest -2018 with the slogan “Save Himalayas for safe future”.

S.D.E. Mr. Adhikari and Under Secretary Mr. Ram Prashad Sapkota were positive towards the proposal given by TAAN for supporting the team of Everest Expedition- 2018. They said that they will go through internal discussions as earliest.

TAAN is looking forward to hear positive result from Department of Tourism and Government authorities.

Along with President Dahal, General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa, Media Coordinator Gopal Shrestha, C.E.O Tek Bahadur Mahat, Media officer Subina Manandhar, Photographer Pemba Sherpa and team members from different team of Everest Expedition- 2018, namely Doma Sherpa, Yangi Sherpa, Lakpa Yangi Sherpa, Yangdi Sherpa, Chhoke Sherpa, Shramila Tamang and Narbin Magar were present at the meeting.

TAAN Congratulates New Home Minister

On March 11, 2018, a delegation of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) led by its President Mr. Nava Raj Dahal paid a visit to Home Minister Mr. Ram Bahadur Thapa (Badal) to congratulate him on his recent appointment.

During the meet, on behalf of TAAN executive committee, President Dahal handed over a 7- point memorandum to Minister Thapa and also apprised him of the problems currently faced by the Nepalese tourism industry, particularly the trekking sector.

TAAN President Dahal explained the role and contribution of TAAN in the promotion and development of mountain tourism and requested upon Home Minister Thapa to take policy decisions on a number of issues related to trekking permit fees, compulsory trekking with guide or porter, authorizing issue of permits based on passport copies, management and security of airport, tourist bus park and equipping tourist police with essential resources.

The delegation also drew attention to the issue of Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) at Khumbu Pasang Rural Municipality.

Speaking in the meeting, Home Minister Thapa stated the importance of tourism sector in the country’s economic development, peace and security and assured the delegation of the government’s commitment to resolving current problems in tourism industry. He also asked TAAN to take the initiative in stopping illegal activities that directly affect Nepalese tourism industry.  

Along with President Dahal, the delegation consisted of Senior Vice President Khum Bahadur Subedi, General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa, Treasurer Ram Krishna Timalsina, Executive Members Jeevan Lama, Mahesh Kumar Budha, Janga Bahadur Lama, Ritu Gyamdan, Gopal Shrestha, Suk Bahadur Lama and Baburam Gurung as well as Media Officer Subina Manandhar and Photographer Pemba Sherpa.

TAAN Delegation Congratulates Finance Minister

A delegation of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) met with newly appointed Finance Minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada on 20th March, 2018.

The delegation led by the President Mr. Nava Raj Dahal congratulated him on his new responsibility and handed over 4 point memorandum to the Minister.

Speaking at the meeting, President Dahal raised problems that trekking entrepreneurs faced while filing tax details. He appraised the Minister about the hassles faced by trekking business due to expensive 13% VAT charges which is comparatively more expensive that those charged in India and Bhutan and lobbied the Minister to reduce the acceptable VAT percent for tourism industry. 

President Dahal further asked Minister Khatiwada to formulate policies to end the VAT charges against the use of mule and yak services.  Speaking at the meeting,  Dahal said “Hotels, lodges and home stay operators do not give tax invoice to trekking agent. Therefore, they are facing difficulties in showing their expenditures.”

Likewise, Jeeban Thapa Magar, 1st Vice President highlighted the need for implementing online payment system that will make reservations more easy.

Minister Khatiwada assured to discuss the topic and formulate the policies accordingly. He said that government will discuss about issuing PAN number in rural areas.

The delegation was hopeful that the concerned government will take the issues seriously.

The delegation included President Dahal, Senior Vice President Khum Bahadur Subedi, 1st Vice President Jeeban Thapa Magar, General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa, Treasurer Ram Krishna Timalsina, Executive Members Ram Bahadur Khadka, Gopal Shrestha, Baburam Gurung, Jeevan Lama, Ritu Gyamdan and C.E.O Tek Bahadur Mahat, Media Officer Subina Manandhar and Photographer Pemba Sherpa.

TAAN Delegation Visits MoCTCA

A delegation of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) led by President Nava Raj Dahal paid a courtesy call on newly appointed Hon'ble Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari on 20th March, 2018.

The delegation congratulated the Minister for his appointment and offered bouquet and khadas for his successful tenure for his office. The delegation raised the issues faced by trekking business whereupon President Dahal apprise the Minister about illegal trekking operators and urged to make trekking guide and porter mandatory for all trekkers. He raised Minister’s attention towards  expensive and double trekking permit fees, and requested the Minister to opening restricted areas for single trekker as well. 

Similarly, President Dahal highlighted the practice of TAX & VAT invoices during trekking in rural areas and reopening of TIMS check post at Khumbu Pasang Rural Municipality. He further emphasized the need for fund raising for environment conservation & protection of garbage disposal system.

The delegation also asked for the implementation of proper security and management system at Tribhuvan International Airport and called for immediate construction of Pokhara and Bhairahawa International Airport.  

While remaining positive towards the issues raised by TAAN delegation, Hon'ble Minister Adhikari said “Safety of tourist is our utmost responsibility so taking a guide or a porter is essential to ensuring security of tourist while trekking.”

The delegation included Senior Vice President Khum Bahadur Subedi, First Vice President Jeeban Thapa Magar, General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa, Treasurer Ram Krishna Timalsina, Joint- treasurer Tara Rana, Executive Members Surya Bahadur Bhetwal, Gopal Shrestha, Jeevan Lama, Ritu Gyamdan, Suk Bahadur Lama, Ram Bahadur Khadka, P.K Sherpa, Baburam Gurung, Mahesh Kumar Budha, Ram Bahadur Khadka and past executive member Ngawa Ngima Sherpa. TAAN C.E.O Tek Bahadur Mahat and staffs Subina Manandhar, Rabindra Dhakal and Naresh Chandra Dhakal were also part of the delegation.

TAAN Concludes Thamel Cleaning and Awareness Campaign

With the slogan, “Clean Environment for Sustainable Tourism”, Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) organized Thamel cleaning and awareness campaign on 31st March 2018. The Chief Guest Hon’ble Minister of Forest & Environment Shakti Bahadur Basnet inaugurated the campaign.

TAAN President Nava Raj Dahal welcoming all the participants at the campaign said that Cleaning Thamel area is the starting campaigns initiated by TAAN that will continue in other different tourism destinations and heritage sites including Dhaulagiri Himalaya Region.

Speaking on the occasion, President Dahal said “The relationship of tourism and environment being very close, it is our responsibility to keep environment clean, safe and healthy.”  Thamel, a center place of tourist hub has become much polluted due to unmanaged waste and carelessness. He requested all to create a favorable environment by making Thamel as free trash region for tourists that will make them visit Nepal again and again.

Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM) Executive Director, Durga Dutta Dhakal appreciated the campaign led by TAAN. He said that this campaign will aware people about importance of clean, safe and healthy environment for sustainable development of tourism. He ensured to provide necessary support for TAAN to continue the campaign for sustainable development of tourism.

Hon’ble Minister of Forest & Environment Shakti Bahadur Basnet acknowledged the initiative taken by TAAN for Cleaning and Awareness Campaign. He said that the campaign will definitely lead to promote tourism. The campaign will not only support to clean the roads but it will also motivate people to eliminate negative practice from entire nation. He assured that government will always support TAAN for making the campaign successful for developing and promoting Nepal. Moreover, he added that the campaign should be organized in order to clean entire Nepal that will create an environment for development of the nation.

The coordinator of Thamel Cleaning and Awareness Campaign, P.k. Sherpa presented his gratitude towards all the participants who supported for making the campaign a huge success. He said that TAAN will be enduring the campaign in other different tourism destinations.

The program was hosted by TAAN General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa. He said Thamel being one of the major touristic areas where many trekking, travel companies, hotels and restaurants are established, therefore; it is our responsibility to keep Thamel clean and healthy.

The campaign was divided into three different routes from Sanchaya Kosh building. The first cleaning route was from Narshing Chowk – J.P School – KTM Guest House. Similarly, other route was Jyatha – Thahity –KGH and the final route was Amrit Marg – Manang Hotel – KGH. TAAN Executive Members Gopal Shrestha, Jeevan Lama and Baburam Gurung led the three different groups. The campaign ended at Kathmandu Guest House.

The campaign was a huge success following participation of more than 700 members which includes representatives from various tourism associations, TAAN member agencies and trainees of trekking guide from NATHM.

TAAN Raised Common Issues of Tourism

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) had organized a breakfast meeting with all the tourism associates at Hotel Manang with an agenda to discuss the general issues faced by Nepalese tourism. All the associations are undergoing through different problems and issues, all those issues must be considered as the concerned hazards faced by entire Nepalese tourism.

TAAN President Mr. Nava Raj Dahal welcomed the entire representatives from different tourism associations. He explained some general problems which come on the way for tourism development. He said “we all representatives from different associations are making our effort to develop Nepalese tourism, but the efforts made have not been taken into consideration by the government. So, he address on lobbying with government to bring necessary changes in policies in order to facilitate Nepalese Tourism.”

President Dahal discussed upon expensive permit and entry fees, high charges on TAX and VAT that will result on expensive trekking and tour packages. He highlighted on issuing a single license system for tourism operators taking a little more deposit.  He enlightened on proper management of International and Domestic Airport, Helicopter and Areoplane. He said that tourist Bus Park is also equally important for tourism development; consequently, proper management of tourist Bus Park is must. He focused on road permit problems, making custom duty free on Mountain equipment. He also added to reduce negative practice at Thamel Area, a center hub of tourist and explained significance of tourist police in order to facilitate visitors.

Similarly, President Dahal explained the importance of TIMS and difficulty to release the frozen budget from Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). Saying “TIMS is not being effectively carried out at different regions, Khumbu Pasang Rural Municipality is collecting Rs. 2000 per person as entry fee” he asked all the tourism associates to raise their voice on TIMS as it has became national problem. He also asserted on opening restricted areas for single trekker and requested all the tourism associates to support for making guide and porter mandatory while trekking. He articulated to grant permit to trekkers by presenting a copy of passport.

Hence, stating all the tourism associates having common issues and agenda, President Dahal requested entire tourism entrepreneurs to raise the voice together for sustainable tourism and promotion.

Likewise, NATTA President Mr. C.N Pandey acknowledged TAAN for hosting a meeting to discuss common issues for promoting Nepalese tourism. He stated on implementing proper security at Tribhuvan International Airport and called for immediate construction of Pokhara and Bhairahawa International Airport. Saying “online payment system must be launched in Nepal where we can carry out all the transactions staying at our office”, he asked for joint effort to raise the voice. President Pandey urged upon establishing Tourism University at Nepal. He highlighted upon developing proper infrastructures like toilet, parking system at sightseeing spot of Nepal. He was very positive towards making “Himalayan Travel Mart” a huge event by entire tourism associations with an agenda to promote Nepalese tourism.

Secretary General of Hotel Association Nepal (HAN), Mr. Binayak Shah said that the actions must be carried out according to tourism policies and regulations. He stated infrastructures being major issues in tourism industry; it is prior to develop infrastructures in required tourism destinations. Stating that occupancy rate of Nepal is not high, Airport is small, he said to develop an alternative for it. He aligned with home stay practice that has been taken place inside the municipalities. “Air fare of Nepal, being one of the highest in the whole world”, he showed his concern why people would visit Nepal? If they have other options too. He enlightened on developing and promoting ‘Gastronomy Tourism’ where tourists and visitors plans to taste the cuisine of the place.

President of Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) Mr. Narendra Deo Bhatta, proclaimed upon establishing National Tourism Council Federation where entire tourism associates can discuss on issues and agenda for sustainable tourism of Nepal.   
Nepal Association of Rafting Agents (NARA) Past President Mr. Chandra Bahadur Dahal highlighted on preservation and conservation of rivers along with marking at least a point of river from each province.                                         

Likewise, Secretary of Nepal Mountain Academy (NMA) Mr. Tika Ram Gurung said that tourism operators must rely on quality tourism rather selling packages in less charge.

PATA Nepal Chapter General Secretary Mr. Bibhuti Chand Thakur stating the vision of PATA to bring 5 million tourists in Nepal, he said PATA is aggressively forward towards organizing Himalayan Travel Mart. He underlined the practice of holistic and niche marketing where one can target on Film Tourism, Accessible Tourism and LGBT Tourism.

Society of Travel & Tour Operators Nepal (SOTTO Nepal) President Mr. Anil Lama persuaded on promoting only one destination in a year. He entailed the need of National Tourism Council Federation and requested not to share negative posture that will give a negative impact on Nepalese Tourism.

Nepal Yoga Association President Mr. Mohan Lamsal supported to establish National Tourism Council Federation which will include entire representatives from tourism industry and raise the issues along with attempting to bring positive output. He emphasized to include Yoga related curriculum in course books that would authenticate Yoga Affiliated courses in Nepal.

Nepal Tourist Vehicle Association (NTVA) President Mr. Ram Saran Karki fore grounded to formulate policies on favor of tourist transportation system in Nepal. He was opposed to yearly charges of thirty six thousand paid for road permit. Likewise, his concern towards proper parking system at Airport and free custom duty for tourist transport is must to consider. He appraised on formulating strict rules and regulations for illegal operators who evade TAX. He also impart upon negative practices taking place at Nepal – India Boarder where Indian vehicles can easily pass inside Nepal whereas it is difficult for Nepali vehicle to pass through Indian Boarder.  

Restaurant and Bar Association Nepal (REBAN) President Mr. Pramod Kumar Jaiswal highlighted the importance of hygienic food and beverage in tourism. He said that food being a prior item that is asked by every visitor. As 10 % service charge and 13% VAT results in increasing the price of food items, therefore, he alleged on charging VAT in certain circumference rather charging more percentage.

Tourist Bus Association of Nepal (TBAN) President Mr. Pralad Lohani affirmed on clear meaning of tourist if it means any individual who goes out of their home or one who are foreigner. He also urge upon proper management of Tourist Bus Park.

Tourist guide Association of Nepal (TURGAN) President Mr. Kedar Tamang voiced on strict penalties for illegal guides who are involved as a guide without any training.
Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Executive Member Mr. Ram Saran Thapaliya, assured to support TAAN and other tourism associations to resolve issues regarding Nepalese tourism.

Thamel Tourism Development Council General Secretary Mr. Bhabi Sharma adjured to open Thamel area for 24 hours. He also voiced on establishing at least 2-3 tourist information counter at Thamel. He also urged on making public toilet at different area of Thamel. He assured that the roads of Thamel area will be pitched till Jestha 2075. Furthermore, he ensured that Thamel area will become alike a touristic place of Europe with underground wire system and free hoarding board zone.

Likewise, General Secretary of Nepal Yoga Association impelled for proper baggage handling system at TIA. He also exclaimed on cleaning Airport Area. Highlighting the importance of digital marketing, he articulated to develop practice upon promoting Nepalese tourism through beautiful photographs, videos and articles. He also recommended extending double runway system at TIA till the Nepal Oil Corporation is situated.

TAAN General Secretary Mr. Ang Pemba Sherpa hosted the meeting. He presented his gratitude towards all the tourism associated for their presence to discuss on common agendas for sustainable tourism of Nepal.

Closing the meeting, Internal Relation Department Coordinator Mr. Khum Bahadur Subedi thanked everyone for participating at the meeting and ensured that the meeting will be very fruitful for solving the issues concerning sustainable development of Nepalese Tourism.

Representatives from different tourism associations like NATTA, REBAN, PATA- Nepal, NARA, SOTTO-Nepal, NMA, FNCCI, Nepal Yoga Association, HRA, VITOF- Nepal, TTDC, TURGAN, NTVA, HAN, NCA along with TAAN Executive Members were present at the meeting.
NTB – TAAN Joint Meeting:  MoCTCA Secretary urged to release TIMS Budget for deceased family, rescue and medical

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) held a meeting with Mr. Krishna Prashad Devkota, Secretary at Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) at the meeting hall of Nepal Tourism Board, on 16 April, 2018 on the topic TIMS Mission & Course of Action.

In the beginning Mr. Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of NTB, briefed the gathering about Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS) focusing on its significance in the promotion of tourism and trekking in Nepal. This was followed by a short presentation on TIMS by Mr. Tek Bahadur Mahat, CEO of TAAN in which he highlighted the role played by TIMS to ensure the safety and security of trekkers in trekking areas and in the control of illegal trekking operation, mentioning necessary payable amount for deceased family, rescue and medical.  

Addressing the meeting, President of TAAN Mr. Nava Raj Dahal, drew the attention of NTB and Tourism Ministry to release 30% of TIMS Fund as agreed in the MoU between NTB and TAAN. He further suggested to utilize the 30% Joint TIMS Fund for the development and promotion of adventure tourism under coordinated planning between NTB and TAAN. He also stressed on the implementation of 10% Labors Welfare Fund in accordance with TIMS agreement.

Mr. Dahal has strongly requested NTB to provide immediate compensation to the families of those trekking laborers who lost their lives during Hud Hud Cyclone, earthquake and other natural calamities along with covering rescue and medical treatment expenses.  He also urged NTB to resume TIMS collection in Khumbu, Jomsom, Langtang-Helambu among others where the service has been interrupted by locals.

Senior Vice President, First Vice President, General Secretary and other executive members fully emphasized the views expressed by Mr. Dahal and hoped for immediate action by NTB.

Former TAAN President as well as incumbent board member of NTB, Mr. Deepak Mahat raised the issue of making it mandatory for all trekkers to take trekking guides. Mr Purna Kunwar, another board member of NTB, called for better coordination and cooperation between NTB and TAAN.

Acknowledging the importance of TIMS, Tourism Secretary Mr. Krishna Prasad Devkota has asked NTB to immediately distribute compensation to the family of trekking workers who lost their lives during natural disasters. He has directed NTB CEO Mr. Deepak Raj Joshi to take necessary action at the earliest to release 30% TIMS fund to TAAN; utilize 30 % Joint Fund for research and promotion and implement 10% Labor Welfare Fund. Secretary Devkota also agreed with the idea of making trekking guides compulsory to ensure safety and security of trekkers and generate employment.

With the encouraging remarks from Tourism Secretary, the meeting ended on a very positive note as participants remain highly optimistic about the outcomes.

Led by President Mr. Dahal, the TAAN delegation included Senior Vice- President Khum Bahadur Subedi, First Vice President Jeeban Thapa Magar, Second Vice President Nilhari Bastola, General Secretary Ang Pemba Sherpa, Treasurer Ram Krishna Timalsina and Executive Members Sher Bahadur Pariyar, Jeevan Lama, Mahesh Budha Magar, Gopal Shrestha, Rabindra Adhikari, Babu Ram Gurung, Chandra Gurung, Rajan Prashad Kapri, Suk Bahadur Lama. Similarly, Joint Secretary Mr Ghanashyam Upadhayay was also present at the meeting.
TAAN supported to reconstruct destructed areas of Gorkha District after massive earthquake hits Nepal
Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) participated at the inauguration ceremony of exploring EP Center Trail, Gorkha on April 22, 2018.

Senior Vice- President Khum Bahadur Subedi handed a flag of Nepal to Dharche Manaslu Tourism Development Committee assuring to work hand in hand in near future for promoting Nepal’s tourism.

TAAN has supported Dharche Manaslu Tourism Development Committee to reconstruct the destructed areas of Northern part of Gorkha Districts such as Dharche, Rubina -La, Manaslu along with Ganesh Himal area that were heavily affected by the massive earthquake 2015. Dharche village situated at the elevation of 3220 meter where one can view the panoramic scenario of twenty five beautiful mountains which is one of the touristic places having its historical values.

Similarly, TAAN and District Coordination Committee (DCC) have together supported to establish tourism information center at around 34 areas of Lower Manaslu Region on 2074 B.S. Furthermore, TIMS counter are also going to be established at Lower Manaslu Region where and TIMS practice will carry out smoothly to record the data of trekkers.

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