|Nepal asks flight permit over Manasarovar|
| one of the popular religious tourist destinations of Hindus, located in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China.
Also, the government further requested China to allow Nepali airliners to operate direct flights to Lahasa, citing that the direct flights that would largely cater the tourists would help promote the tourism industry in both the countries.
Such requests from the Nepali side were made during a daylong meeting of Nepal-China Joint Coordination Committee for Tourism Promotion held in
the Capital on Sunday.
"We have lodged a formal request to the visiting Chinese officials to allow Nepali helicopters and planes to operate flights up over Mansorabor to
facilitate the tourists visiting the area," a participant of the meeting told the Post.
He further informed that the Chinese officials have responded to the positively and assured the Nepali counterparts that it would forward the
proposal to the higher level for the final decision.
"Likewise, the Chinese delegations also committed that they will give a positive response on direct flights to Kathmandu-Lhasha by the end of this
year when the construction works of the Lahasa International Airport will be completed," the source stated.
Lhasha is among the popular destinations of tourists across the globe and if Nepal could operate direct flights in the route, it is expected boost
tourism inflow in the country.
The response from the Chinese side on the matter, however, is no different than what they stated over the Nepalís earlier proposal to sign a
Nepal-China air agreement. They had said that the agreement could be signed once construction of Lhasha International Airport is
completed.Sources further said that the Nepali side has also urged China to initiate steps to open the mountains like Choyu, ascent to which requires
passing through territories of both the countries. "If China agreed to open its territory for the purpose, it will ease Nepal to open these peaks for
mountaineering," said the source.
Neither Nepal nor China has currently opened their territories in such mountains and these have been closed for climbing. "Both sides have agreed to
carry out necessary homework in this regard," the source added.
China, in the meantime, agreed to allow Nepali tourist vehicles to ply up to Jhangbo, a Tibetan town located some eight kilometers from Tatopani
border point, where its Immigration Office is present.
Talking to the Post, Shankar Prasad Pandey, Joint Secretary of the Tourism Division, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation and the leader of
Nepali delegation, expressed satisfaction over the meeting.
"It was a fruitful meeting, the outcome of which will help tourism promotion in both the countries," he said.
Bhadro, Director General of Tibet Tourism Bureau, had led the 16-member Chinese delegation that had arrived in the capital on Saturday for the
meeting. The committee was constituted last year with a view to strengthen bilateral tourism promotion efforts.
(Source : The Kathmandu Post)