World`s shortest teenager to promote tourism in Nepal

Kathmandu: The government has appointed Khagendra Thapamagar, quite possibly the tiniest human on the planet, as goodwill ambassador to promote tourism in Nepal to boost the sector still reeling under the impact of a decade - long Maoists-led insurgency which came to an end in 2006.

17-year old Thapamagar, who is the tiniest teenager in the world, measuring 22 inch, will head to London on October 11 to be officially conferred the title of the shortest man in the world by Guinness World Records.

"We expect Khagendra to promote tourism by taking part in various promotional activities to be launched by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) abroad," said Prachanda Man Shrestha, the CEO of NTB.

Khagendra, who will turn 18 on October 14, will be ormally conferred the title of the shortest man in the world. Presently 24-year-old Edward Ni?o Hernandez, who is 7 inch tall, is the world`s shortest man. Khagendra is set to natch the title next month.

Shrestha said Khagendra will also accompany officials uring Nepal`s participation in the World Tourism Mart to be eld in London on November 8. He will also travel to Paris ext month to promote the country`s tourism, accompany Tourism oard`s sales mission.

The government has also appointed Miss Nepal Sadichha Shrestha as brand ambassadors to promote tourism in the ountry.

The government plans to hold a grand function on January 14 next year to formally launch `Nepal Tourism Year 2011` (NTY).

The tourism sector is largest foreign exchange earner for the country.

Earlier this month, Tourism Secretary Kishor Thapa said Nepal is observing the NTY 2011 event with a view to spread the message that the country is a safe, exciting and peaceful destination for international visitors.

The government and Tibet Autonomous Region of China last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the operation of buses between Nepal and Tibet.

The accord will allow regular Nepali helicopter and charter services in the sacred Mansarovar area, promoting Nepal Tourism Year in Tibet and providing Tibet visa to international tourists from Kathmandu and operating more Chinese airlines between Lhasa-Kathmandu.

It was expected that with the end of the Maoists-led insurgency in 2006, the country`s tourism sector would get a boost. However, the country has been faced with political and economic instability, that has impacted the sector.

Nearly three months after the 22-party coalition led by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal collapsed, seven rounds of Parliament vote has failed to elect a new leader, deepening the political crisis in the country.

The country has been in political limbo since the June 30 resignation of Nepal, who is currently heading a caretaker government.