Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Tourism in Nepal!

  • Taralal Dharel ( Hari )
  • 148

As we know, now we all are in the middle of the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) where the people are struggling and praying for their safety.

Though this virus has not spread like in the western countries in Nepal we cannot neglect the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic in Nepal and the facts that rapid tasting of this virus is necessary to control this virus in time and back to the normal life. Providing limited resources, facilities and the health personnel, the government authorities are giving their time to protect the civil society from the coronavirus.

Going through the continuous 5 months lockdown, we cannot deny the facts that the lockdown has badly affect the people living in the city whose survival depends on the wages. Though the government have said that "no one will stay hunger and die from the hunger" but the facts are that people are struggling every day to get the meal and stay fighting. It is said that many numerous political parties and organization that have been working with the agenda and motto of helping the citizen but their efforts and hard work is hardly seen here. In this times members of the different political parties should help in this situation but the distribution of the relief packages has been cheap popularity that it was done with the moral intention.

In this time, where all the citizens are struggling for both their meal and the future, the government should think about the short-term and long-term solution for the problem arising from the virus as well as this long lockdown. In this situation also it is not hard to hear the politics of Nepal to become the subject of discussion and the leaders fighting to get the power as here we can see the leader only being concerned about the power is their interest while the whole country is struggling.

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In the developing country like Nepal which is listed in one of the slow-developing counties, it is very difficult to control the virus when it spread all over, it will be very hard to control afterwards, with the lack of the advance medical goods, and other advance medical technology, it is not to far to see the people out of control of this virus, not far to see the more dead people due to this pandemic.

To control the spread of the Coronavirus lockdown may sound good but in the other aspect, it is affecting in the economical sector.

Before the outbreak of this virus. The government of the Nepal commitment to reduce the absolute poverty rate 10 16.7% from the 18.7% last years but this year the World Bank forecast the news that 31.2% of Nepalese citizens are at the risk of falling into the extreme poverty due to the reduction of the remittances from the abroad, earning from the migrants, due to the collapse of the tourism industry, being jobless in other earning sectors. Lately, the news was spread that around 22 lakhs of the youth and people around the country lost their job due to this pandemic, now these people are struggling for their survival.

For the economical survival to the government, the government of Nepal ended the 5 months long lockdown on 22 July and permit to open the business with some protocols to be followed by all the people:

  • people should wear a mask while getting out of the home.
  • People should maintain social distancing while being in the bank or any other offices.
  • All the people should go through the normal thermal body temperature checkup, and should use the sanitizer will entering in any office.
  • All the shop will open with a short gapping and should have only takeaway facilities.
  • Avoid going in the big gathering.

COVID-19 related death in the worldwide reached around 4 lakhs. The effect of this virus worldwide is being very terrible. However, we are still unknown about the impact of this virus in both the economic and health terms. But for the developing countries with very low and middle-income countries like Nepal where the economies rely on the small number of industries and services is very worrying. It may take a few years to be back to the normal track to these countries.

In Nepal, tourism considered as one of the largest industries, as per the record in 2018 tourism contributed 7.9% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and offer the job to 1.05 millions of the people as per the record of 2019 and working with the expectation to provide job to around 1.35 millions of people. The tourism sector in Nepal hosted 1.19 million of the foreign tourist In 2019. Aiming to attract around 2 million of the visitors, Government of Nepal start the Campaign "Visit Nepal 2020" spending 2 billion and creating the thousands of the new job but due to this pandemic this campaign went to the vain.

And the country faces a big loss with the fail of the big agenda. The famous tourist hud-Thamel, which is known as the famous tourist spots in Nepal, famous for the local handicrafts goods, but due to the lockdown, all the shops here remain close.

As the landlocked nation, Airway is the only one means for the tourist to enter Nepal, but now all the international flight are cancelled with the rumours of opening the flight from September. But there are high chances to postpone it as the new cases of the virus are increasing day by day.

Government of Nepal are encouraged to stop to " Trival travel" to the nations influenced by or at the high risks of COVID-19 like USA, Brazil, India including Itali, North- Korea, Japan. To this country including Italy, North-Korea, japan, the visitors are allowed to enter in the Visa-on-appearance section, the visitors should go through the many health-checkup, should have all the documentation needed for the treks, then only they are allowed to enter and trek in Nepal.

In these days also we can see the people searching about Nepal and its trekking region, so it's not too far to see the visitors in Nepal But if you are planning to trek in Nepal then avoid searching the popular and crowded trek including Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Langtang Trekking for the short period of time. Here I would like to recommend to choose less crowded trek like Mardi Himal Trek, Manang-Mustang Trek,  and so on. In this year 2020, the peak season which include-August-September-October-November will be quite, as all the people are fighting for their safety.

Facing many losses in the tourism and economy section, the administration of Nepal should take the vital measure to back its economy and continue it.

We can conclude: As the year 2020 seems to be the worst year in the history for the tourism in Nepal and it may take a few years to be back to the normal track.

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