On January 7th, 2020, the Embassy of Nepal in Israel celebrated a tourism event about increasing the volume of tourism between the two countries in Israel. H.E. Mrs. Anjan Shakya, the Ambassador of Nepal in Israel and the Nepali Embassy staff hosted the event. Mr. Arjun Ghimire, Deputy Chief of Mission, served as the master of ceremony. The event was held and hosted in the compound of the "Council for a Beautiful Israel" at the Alon Hall in Tel Aviv.
Mr. Yariv Levin, Israeli minister of tourism, was an honored guest representing the Israeli government. Among the many distinguished guests of the event were also Ambassador Yaron Meir (Former Israeli Ambassador to Nepal), Mrs. Nurit Koren (Former MK ), Ambassador Itzhak Eldan (former Israeli Ambassador to Denmark, Council of Europe and UNESCO), Adi Baruch (Senior Counsel of Government Ministries), Ariel Blidstein (business Development & Innovation), representative of the Israeli Police Mr. Moti Meiry (The Yarkon Space Police Security and Licensing Officer), members of the Nepali Embassy in Israel, Israeli journalists and a variety of honorable foreign ambassadors.
The event began with time to mingle, as Nepalese and Israeli foods were served. The formal part of the event started with a few words by the Deputy chief of mission, Mr. Arjun Ghimire. Mr. Ghimire invited the guests to the “Nepal: Life Time Experiences” presentation, noting that although the current number of visitors from Israel is relatively low, Nepal is actually a pristine tourist destination which has much to offer to Israeli travelers.
Ambassador Shakya opened her speech in Hebrew, delighting the audience. She highlighted the diversity of Nepal in terms of people, languages, costumes, festivals, and food. The ambassador noted that Nepal is in many lists of top travel destinations by magazines like Forbes, Trip advisor, Lonely Planet, etc. The ambassador explained that the rich cuisine, pleasant weather, and culture, all warranted a visit by Israeli tourists.
Deputy chief of mission Mr. Ghimire then showed an interesting video about the country and about the Nepali government goals for 2020 that was declared by the government of Nepal as “The year of tourism,“ including the goal to have 2 million visitors, which means doubling the current number of visitors that stands on 1 million visitors a year.
The presentation also included recommended tourist attractions and places such as the Everest mountain, national park Chitwan, national park Sagarmatha, Lake Tilicho (the tallest lake in Nepal), Lake Rara (the biggest lake in Nepal), Fokara, Ilam and Bandipur, Elephant polo, Banji and many unique festivals. In the last part of the presentation they showed interesting facts about Nepal such as being home to 6,391 different kinds of plants, 848 different kinds of birds, 500 different kinds of butterflies and 185 different kinds of Mammals.
After this, the Israeli tourism minister, Mr. Levin, remarked on the growing relationship between Nepal and Israel and his desire to open the gates of Israel to more people from Nepal to visit Israel, as well as Israelis visiting Nepal: “Nepal is an extraordinary country which offers a special tourist experience. The combination between natural wonders, breathtaking views, and distinguished historic and religious sites, is a rare assemblage which the ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ project will expose to potential tourists from all over the world. Our countries, Nepal and Israel, represent two astonishing extremes of nature. In Israel we have the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, and Nepal is home to Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain peak." ...." Tourism is a bridge for bringing peoples and cultures together."..." I am certain that Nepal as well as Israel will continue to be popular destinations for tourists. I am sure that this important initiative, ‘Visit Nepal 2020’, will expose your unique country to many more crowds and bring about a major increase in tourism to Nepal, as well as in the revenues which it brings to the economy. Your Excellency, the Ambassador, please convey my appreciation to the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mr. Yogesh Bhattarai, for this unique initiative. Madam Ambassador, I wish to thank you again for the invitation, for the cooperation between us, and for the important work that you undertake with your fellow embassy members, to strengthen the ties between Nepal and Israel.
Ambassador Shakya then awarded the title of "Goodwill Ambassador of VNY 2020" to Nadav Ben Yehuda, an Israeli tourism representative of Nepal, who said “Nepal is like my second home.”
Finally came the artistic part that included traditional dances and a joint dance between the Nepali dancers and the audience. The event was very impressive and definitely left a great impression of Nepal and a taste for more!
Eliran Ben Yair (member of Debate for Peace)
Photos by Silvia Golan
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