Dhamala elected as president of Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN)

 

The 35th annual general meeting (AGM) of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) held on Friday elected a new executive committee with Ramesh Dhamala of Ecological Treks as the new president.

The panel led by Dhamala swept the election winning all 17 posts on offer. Dhamal, who garnered 321 votes, defeated his competitor Jangbu Sherpa by 60 votes. Immediate past president Mahendra Singh Thapa and President of TAAN Pokhara Chapter Narayan Sapkota are also in the executive committee. The 23-member executive committee will take complete shape after the newly elected president nominates four members.

Keshav Pandey, Kami Rinji Sherpa, Kul Bahadur Gurung and Sagar Pandey have been elected senior vice-president, 1st vice-president, 2nd vice-president and general secretary, respectively. The AGM also elected Pasang Sherpa, Gopal Babu Shrestha and Tilak Bahadur Thapa Magar as secretary, treasurer and joint-treasurer, respectively.

Similarly, Gokul Sapkota, Palsang Tamang, Pasang Tendi Sherpa, Namaraj Gauli, Ang Pemba Sherpa, Rajendra Sapkota, Nilhari Bastola, Meghnad Timalsina and Dhan Prasad Gurung have been elected executive members.

The new executive committee will serve for a term of two years.

Earlier, Secretary at the Ministry for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Sushil Ghimire inaugurated the Annual General Meeting. He also unveiled maps and promotional DVDs of three trekking trails – Humla-Rara, Rara-Khaptad and Jaljala – in mid and far western development regions.

Secretary Ghimire also felicitated top five trekking companies with ‘Best TIMS Sales Award’. Royal High Mt Trekking, Earthbound Expeditions, Sasha’s Mountain Way Trekking, Thamserku Trekking and Himalayan Encounters were the top five companies for the fiscal year 2012/13 in terms of issuance of TIMS cards.

He also felicitated Raju Chitrakar of TAAN Secretariat and staff of TIMS Check Point at Tatopani with ‘Best Staff Award’ and handed over letter of appreciation to Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Purna Chandra Bhattarai.

Speaking at the AGM, outgoing president Mahendra Singh Thapa said tourist spending has not increased in line with the growth in tourist arrivals. “The government should look into the issue seriously,” he said, urging the government to fix minimum benchmark price for tourism products and services so as to increase tourist spending.

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