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Year 2020 Visit Nepal Year

In 2017, Nepal welcomed 940,218 foreign tourists. It expects a growth of foreign tourists by 30 percent every year since 2018 to meet the target of 1.5 million tourists by 2020. The country is set to organize the year 2020 as Visit Nepal Year. It will be the third national level initiative to promote Nepal's tourism sector since the country first celebrated Visit Nepal Year in 1998 followed by the Nepal Tourism Year in 2011.

Nepalese Hotel Industry Promotes Gastronomy Globally

Nepal's hospitality industry has taken initiative to promote gastronomy tourism in Nepal. The Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), a grouping of hoteliers, has launched the campaign named Campaign to Globalize Nepalese Cuisines under which the HAN plans to internationalize 25 Nepali food items. The food items include: Kwanti, Sisne jhol, Phando, Jwano ko jhol, Pancha Kwa, Chukur khanda, Karesabari, Chukauni, Timure Aalu, Fulaura, Sekuwa, Sandheko, Tareko, Usineko, Pakku, Chhoyola, Mo:mo, Chatamari, WO, Jogi Bhat, Daal Bhat, Dhindi,Himali, Yomari, Sikarni and Dahiphal, according to HAN.

Nepal to Celebrate Bisket Jatra: 14 April

Bisket Jatra is a spectacular nine-day festival unique to Bhaktapur as it is not celebrated in the other cities. The central characters in the festival are Bhairav and Bhairavi whose images are taken around the city of two chariots. At a place called yashinkhel, a 70- foot pole is erected and later brought down to mark the Nepali New Year. The chariots are brought here and many rituals follow before they are pulled back to the temple of Bhairavnath from where the process on started. Each day people worship at various Astamatrika shrines around the city. The devotees from upper and lower parts of the city fight for the right to pull the chariot to their half first. There is much music, dancing and revelry to enliven the atmosphere.

Miniature Bhutan, the Winner of the 5th Startup Weekend, is making its mark on the Bhutanese Souvenir Market

Almost three months after its miniature work of a 0.3cm Buddha statue carved out of the lead of a pencil won the best entry, Miniature Bhutan has been flooded with orders, mostly from travel agents.

"We have in two months done a lot of market validation," says Sonam Tashi, the brain behind the miniature art. Miniature Bhutan's other notable works include writing names on grains of rice. After an initial investment of Nu 5,000, the Miniature Bhutan has so far spent around Nu 55,000 in establishing their venture. The team is currently devoting its focus on packaging as attractive packaging would help sales. It is seeking to make Bhutan's unique cultural heritage popular through their trademark miniature art works.

Traditional Houses Identifies for Conservation

The Department of Culture has proposed preservation of traditional houses in the western region. This is part of ongoing efforts to conserve the country's cultural heritage sites.Three traditional houses, one each from Kabisa in Thimphu, Changjokha in Punakha and Talung Toed in Haa, have been identified for the proposed project.

The houses were selected from among more than a hundred traditional houses surveyed between 2012 and 2016 for an ongoing scientific research on constructing quake resilient traditional buildings.

The Department of Culture in collaboration with the Tokyo National Institute for Cultural Properties carried out the research following the 2009 and 2011 earthquakes that caused massive destruction to traditional houses.

The survey of the traditional houses carried out for the research looked at the architectural as well as structural aspects.

In foreign countries, people have economically benefited from preserving old houses. They have converted the houses into restaurants, museums, art exhibition and all. So, we are trying to promote in that way."