THE HIMALAYAN TIMES -- The cat is out of the bag and Nepal can sit smug and enjoy the limelight while other blue chip tourism destinations turn green with envy. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton have decided on Nepal for their honeymoon and are expected to land up in Kathmandu a week after their April 29 royal wedding at Westminster Abbey, London.

Prince William of Wales is second in line of inheritance to the British throne after his father Prince Charles of Wales. According to a report in the London Times today, Prince William and Kate had decided on Nepal because of its ‘mystical and romantic charm’ despite rumours of them heading down under to Australia. The report said that Lowbrow Pinkelton, private secretary of Prince William, who is responsible for his travel arrangements, formally confirmed that the royal couple would indeed spend a week in Nepal in early May and that logistics and security details were being worked out. While the British Embassy in Kathmandu was tight-lipped about the VIP visit, the senior official stated, “The embassy does not confirm or deny the high profile visit.”

However, a highly-placed source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the royal couple would spend a couple of days in Kathmandu at the Gokarna Resort while a royal suite is being readied for the newly weds. “Our staff are working round the clock to get the suite in the new wing of the resort ready,” a hotel staffer said. However Hotel Vice President Dorjee Sherpa refused to confirm if the royal couple would be staying at his property. “No comment,” he quipped.

The sources further said three helicopters belonging to Dynasty Air and a single engine Pilatus Porter aircraft belonging to Yeti Airlines have been hired to ferry the royal couple and their entourage. Spokespersons for Dynasty Air and Yeti Airlines confirmed the booking.

After their sojourn in Kathmandu, the royal couple would leave for the Everest region by a chopper and check into Hotel Everest View which happens to be the highest located hotel in the world situated at 3,880 m in the Sagarmatha National Park commanding a spectacular view of Mt Everest. “The royal couple will get a top of the world feeling. That is assured,” said Himal Sherpa, general manager of Hotel Everest View, while confirming the Royal booking. He said the guests would be spending four nights at the hotel. “The hotel will be shut for rest of the world during that period,” he said.

The couple would be accompanied by aides and security detail. “Security teams have already inspected the hotel and we have been given instructions to ensure privacy from the paparazzi and even the staff will be hand-picked and screened,” he stated. They will also make a trip to Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve in West Nepal that is a dedicated area where certain wild species are permitted to be culled. The Reserve staff have been instructed to make sure the royal couple get a sighting of the exotic yet rare Blue sheep.

While the royal wedding is slated to be the biggest event in terms of media coverage, Nepal stands to enjoy unlimited free publicity and recognition that will provide an unexpected boost to the Nepal Tourism Year 2011. Yatra Gurung, spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, said a high-level task force would be formed with representation from line ministries, Nepal Tourism Board, tourism entrepreneurs and stakeholders to roll out the carpet and make sure Nepal is seen in the best light. “This is a boon to the Nepal Tourism Year-2011 and we have an opportunity to showcase the very best tourism products that Nepal has to offer,” Gurung stated.

“It will also open up the gates for high profile celebrities to visit as well as enthrone Nepal as the most romantic, mystical and favoured honeymoon destination.” or

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Comment by David Paul Appell on April 3, 2011 at 11:20am
It should of course be noted that this was an April Fool's piece that ran in Katmandu's Himalayan Times. But well done!  And indeed, why shouldn't they honeymoon in Nepal? We'll see...

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