PALO ALTO, Calif. -- A delegation of Nepalese tourism officials wrapped up its promotional tour of the U.S. -- a trip that took an unexpected turn when the news broke that the country's crown prince went on a murder rampage, killing family members before killing himself.

The message became one of assuring travelers that all is well in Nepal, said Pradeep Raj Pandey, chief executive officer of the Nepal Tourism Board.

The grief-stricken nation's mourning turned violent in the aftermath of the murders of several royal family members, but the country's unrest has subsided, Pandey said in an interview before he addressed the South Bay chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, the last stop on the two-week trip.

"It is safe to travel to Nepal," he said, calling the State Department's public announcement urging U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Nepal "unfair."

"Tourists, even during the protests, were never in danger," he said. "The travel advisory should not be given much weight."

Last year, some 42,000 Americans visited Nepal, and prior to the royal murders, the tourism board was expecting to break that record in arrivals.

But Pandey said now he expects a slight drop.

However, the tourism industry's hope is that those people who canceled trips -- he did not know the numbers -- will rebook for travel in the fall, which is the peak season for travel from the U.S. to the Himalayan country.

"We're crossing our fingers that there will not be a long-term impact," he said.

Pandey traveled with nearly a dozen major ground operators from Nepal on a swing through the U.S. He was told the news of the murders during a presentation in Baltimore.

Pandey said the delegation considered canceling the rest of the trip but decided to continue because "it would not have given [the U.S. travel industry] a good message if we had panicked and gone home."

The board, which operates on a $1.5 million budget, was formed two years ago and is funded both by the government and private industry.

Among the projects being advanced by the board is one in which tourists stay in Nepalese homes.

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