Nepal, with its bountiful water flowing from the peaks of the Himalayas and the high passes from the Tibetan plateau, possesses some of the finest whitewater rivers in the world. Additionally, Nepal is also home to one of the strongest and largest river tourism communities in the global industry. Comprised of approximately 61 companies, Nepal's river tourism industry employs thousands of native Nepalese and is entirely Nepali owned, operated and supplied, a fact which makes it unique among other forms of tourism development in the Himalayan kingdom (and indeed, in the world!). However, whitewater rafting in Nepal, while well known among several specialist river running communities across the world, has had relatively little publicity and as such is an extremely valuable yet little appreciated and publicized form of sustainable development for the country of Nepal.
With this in mind, the Nepal Association of Rafting Agents has developed a proposal for the introduction of a river running event that has the potential to stimulate interest in Nepal as a tourist destination in general and Nepal's rivers in particular as one of the world's premier river running tourism destinations. Himalayan Whitewater Challenge in Nepal is a multi discipline one boat event that combines extreme slalom / river running skills with down river speed and freestyle action to find an overall whitewater champion. This event, which will combine state of the art forms of extreme whitewater slalom, head to head down river racing and amazing displays of freestyle rodeo maneuvers into one world class competitive event. Additionally, this event will also allow for a competitive display of Nepal's rafting history as there will be a down river raft race in which Nepal's original Nepali raft guides, the current company owners, will guide rafts filled with their companies' best guides in a head to head race down the Bhotekoshi river to claim the honor of 'Top OG' (Original Guide). As such, this event promises to be not only a world class competitive affair, but also an opportunity for Nepal to demonstrate its long standing tradition of whitewater rafting expertise among its citizens.
Event Size and Expected Economic Benefits to Nepal's Tourism Industry
The event's organizer expected to attract to approximately 100-150 foreign competitors and approximately 100 Nepali participants, in addition to nearly 200-250 spectators, all of whom will help spread the world of Nepal's awesome whitewater tourism potential to those that they know aboard. Additionally, the foreign participants will all ply into Katmandu's Tribhuban International Airport, many of Nepalese air couriers Royal Nepal Airline and then stay in Katmandu's hotels and guesthouse. Where they will shop for good and eat and local restaurants, helping to bolster the country's critical tourism industry that has taken such hard blows in 2001 due to both national and international crises. Additionally, experience has shown that these participants will travel throughout Nepal after the events to paddle many of Nepal's world class rivers and as such will help to benefit other areas throughout the country economically. Further, as a by-product of the is event, publicity about Nepal as a safe and secure tourism destination will be disseminated helping to stimulate other non whitewater bases sectors of Nepal's tourism industry as well.
Himalayan White Water Challenge-2008 concluded:
Himalayan White water Challenge-2008 organized by Nepal Association of Rafting Agents (NARA) in partnership with Peak UK Kayaking, promoted by Nepal Tourism Board & supported by Nationally and Internationally water sports private company successfully concluded in Trisuli, one of the world class river located in Chitwan district of Nepal on November 2008 with the theme "Lets save Trisuli River". The objective of this challenge was to promote adventurous sports tourism activities in Nepal. About 80 participants from USA, UK, Iran, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, France and 30 participants from Nepal enthusiastically took part in three days long challenge from 17 to 19 November 2007. The challenge was divided into different events like Nepalese Junior Kayak (Men), Senior Kayak (Men) and Rafting Competition. At the Same time the prize was also distributed to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position sponsored by verities of the water sports company their produced that hold 1st, 2nd and 3rd position on this event respectively.