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Find out more about Nepal by reading these articles.
There is an air of relief among the Nepalese people. Lasting peace is in sight. It took several changes of government, a significant show of public strength which overthrew the King earlier this year and a string of negotiations to bring to an end an armed conflict that has already taken over 15,000 Nepalese lives in about 10 years. A peace accord is being signed in Nepal on 16 November 2006, making this date the most historic in present history. This accord, between the Maoists and the Government, is aimed at ending the armed conflict that has been hampering development of this Himalayan country for over 10 years now. The draft has already been prepared and what has been put in is important; bringing the peace situation of the country back to before 1996, when this armed conflict came to surface, ban of extortion, abductions and public display of arms etc. Apart from this important accord, it has already been agreed that the Maoists and the Army will lock up equal number of arms in cantonments supervised closely by the UN from 21 November 2006. This is significant, as this will now dissolve the "rule of fear" that has been governing the conflict. The Maoists are also joining an interim parliament by the end of November, which will elect a new constituent assembly, draft a new constitution and go for fresh elections in June 2007. The implications for tourism, the most important industry, are tremendous. Sweden has already removed Nepal from its threat list, and it is likely most other countries will have little reason not to follow suit now. Travel advisories and its effects of installing fear of travel, as well as hesitation of insurance companies to offer comprehensive cover, or the raising of premiums, has been the main cause of tourism going back to 1988 levels in the past few years in Nepal. Read more about Nepal in this Nepal article
Perched on the southern slopes of the Himalayas, the landlocked Kingdom of Nepal is as ethnically diverse as it is naturally. With its rich biodiversity, cultural heritage and the highest mountain peaks in the world, Nepal has long exerted a pull on travellersí imaginations.
Recent unrest caused by Maoists has slowed tourism to the country down. However, with the political situation now calming down due to the king allowing the parliament to reconvene after 3 months of protest, Nepal is very much coming back in vogue as a responsible tourism destination. The best time to visit Nepal is from October to April, making now> the perfect time to book your holiday to this majestic kingdom.
Find out more about tourism returning to Nepal in this Nepal article
After 14 years of toying around with an inefficient and corrupt democracy and nine years of Maoist insurgency which has left the country crippled and thousands dead, Nepal has now gone back to absolute monarchy. The King made a Royal Proclamation which declared the present government void and declared an emergency state. Several basic rights have been curtailed (in order to facilitate the army to fight the insurgency). Tourism is the second highest foreign exchange earner, and is the highest employment generator in Nepal. How does one protect a nationís only future prospect at economic recovery in the face of a crisis like this? The Asian Tsunami brought out the importance of an industry like tourism in disaster relief, bringing economic growth and building confidence as well as getting two cultures to come forward and give and helping hand. Debates flourished whether a relaxing and fun filled activity like a holiday should be spent in a flood torn country where thousands died, or is this really the next stage of disaster relief and a time when tourism can really make a difference.
Read more about Nepal in this Nepal article
Nepal is famous for its elephant back rides in Chitwan national park and tiger trails in Royal Bardia National Park. Our friends at The Animal Welfare Network Nepal and Anti-Animal Sacrifice Alliance in Nepal have helped us put together this information on animal welfare issues in tourism to make sure that you are aware of issues regarding animal welfare and animal friendly tourism in Nepal while experiencing this fascinating and stunning country.
One of the things to consider is whether your holiday expenses support trades and events that profit from animal suffering, pain and death. When you are on holiday, you can enjoy the beauty of nature and rich cultural traditions of Nepal without taking part in activities that directly or indirectly harm animals.
Find our more about animal friendly holidays in Nepal in this Nepal article