World Tourism Day celebrated by awarding tourism entrepreneurs

28th Sep, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Sep 28: Himalaya Expeditions, the organizer of Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon and Lumbini PEACE Marathon organized a post-event celebration in Lalitpur as part of celebrating 39th World Tourism Day.

Speaking at the program, Bikram Pandey KAAJI, founder of Himalaya Expeditions, said that he was happy to know that events conceived by him have become some of the best tourism products in the country. "Tourism will not be sustainable if local people are not benefiting. That is why I always make sure that local people benefit from our programs and activities," he added.

On the occasion, the company launched a new tourism portal,  formed to promote Buddhist tourism in Nepal. The portal contains information about Buddhist tourism products and activities.

Addressing the program, former Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha thanked Pandey KAAJI for coming up with innovative tourism products and activities in the country. "We all want to be like Buddha, but none of us is ready to give up material live like Prince Siddhartha. I am repeatedly raised this matter in the meetings of senior political leaders of the country," he added.

Stating that tourism is the mainstay of the country's economy, Shrestha called upon the government to bring all stakeholders on board for development and promotion of tourism by taking private sector into confidence.Likewise, former Tourism Minister Ram Kumar Shrestha said innovation is a key for tourism growth. "It feels good to know that we have people like Pandey KAAJI who are coming up with innovative and creative programs for the tourism industry," he said. Stating that tourism activities are on the rise in Everest and Lumbini regions, he called on private sector to prepare similar programs in other parts of the country. 

Also speaking at the program, PJ Club President Bikas Karki thanked Himalaya Expeditions for awarding photographers that participated in its Nepal Photo Contest.On the occasion Former Deputy PM Shrestha and Former Tourism Minister Shrestha handed over Mount Everest Goodwill Prize to different personalities that have helped Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon grow to this stage since its humble beginning in 2003. Those awarded on the occasion include Sarad Pradhan (Nepal Tourism Board), Bikas Karki (Annapurna Post daily), Charles Haviland (BBC) and Kumar Shrestha (Journalist). The award carries a purse of Rs 25,000 each.

Similarly, Olympian Baikuntha Manandhar Award was given to Tirtha Tamang of Nepal Army who completed hattrick of wins in 60-kilometer Everest Extreme Ultra event of Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon. The award also carries a purse of Rs 25,000.Similarly, Lumbini Peace Marathon Award was given to Shabbir Khan of Rupandehi who has been protecting the seeds of the old Bodhi tree, which was chopped down from the Mayadevi Temple premises, by producing saplings through tissue culture. The award carries a purse of Rs 27,775.

On the occasion, Himalaya Expeditions awarded four photographs that participated in the recently held Nepal Photo Contest organized by PJ Club Nepal. The winning photo of Sports Category – of Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon which was shot by Pratik Rayamajhi of Nagarik/Republica dailies – received Mount Everest Marathon Goodwill Prize. The award carries a purse of Rs 8,848, symbolizing the height of Mount Everest.

Similarly, three other photographs of the competition, depicting life of common people were also awarded on the occasion. Those awarded include Durga Rana Magar of Kaski, Shreekrishna Khatri of Bhaktapur and Basudev Varma of Kapilvastu. The award carries a purse of Rs 5,555 each. As part of supporting 'Gastronomy Tourism Campaign' started by the tourism ministry and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), a dish named 'Duck Tikka Masala' was also launched on the occasion. The dish will be served at Chimes Restaurant – a sister concern of Himalaya Expeditions.

Himalaya Expeditions on the occasion launched two new marathons with the objective of promoting tourism through adventure sports. Pokhara Mountain Marathon, a ridge running trail which begins from Dhampus, will connect five Kots (forts) of Kaski – Tanchokkot, Chandrakot, Paudurkot, Kaskikot and Sarangkot -- before ending on the banks of Fewa Lake. Similarly, Kathmandu Mountain Marathon will connect old Newar settlements of Kathmandu and Lalitpur. The marathon which will start from Chobhar will pass through ancient Newar settlements of Khokana, Bungmati, Tika Bhairav, Chapagaun, Bajrabarahi and Thaiba before concluding at Godavari.