This is my personal opinion on COVID19 impact tourism in Nepal. At the time as expressing my views, the global pandemic has reached appr. 3.08 million with 212,405deaths around the world. The world is still helplessly anticipating for some solution and hoping it will be concluded as soon as possible. As we all know, complete eradication of this virus is not possible shortly but any form of treatment or vaccination will help ease the physical and mental state of the populous.
Out of all areas, the tourism sector has been hit the most by this global pandemic. Airlines, hotels, restaurants, travel companies, transport companies and all other people related with tourism are waking up every day with a hope to hear some positive news and possible ways to revive tourism in its natural form. It is still too early to predict anything about how and when natural courses of tourism will be restored.
Tourism and Nepal are almost synonymous, and Nepal is also not untouched with this pandemic, has been impacted in a major way. Although the numbers till today are just 48, with 10 recoveries and no death, we still have a way forward to say that COVID 19 did not affect the health situation of Nepal but the way forward is looking uncertain. We are still not in a condition to say how and when we can go to normalcy and go to the mainstream of tourism. Tourist arrival from Europe or the Americas is not likely to happen soon as the European countries and the Americas have been severely hit and it is going to take them a long time to recover due to massive effect in those countries. However, the light at the end of the tunnel is that our geographical position is between the two most densely populated, economically growing countries and with china emerging relatively unscathed with reasonably low numbers of affected and deaths, likely, they will also begin to travel earlier than any other countries which would be a great advantage for us.
We must be the first nations to say with all control measures taken we are safe to travel and make sure that our main priority is the safety of all the people involved. Since tourism is the main attraction in our country, we must start to think up measures on how we can make travelling safer and entertaining. We can hopefully attract tourists from the less affected countries to ensure that our citizens are not infected or affected in any way. Our main goal is to bring back the country’s economy, one step at a time.
We can see the measures taken by other countries, such as China, on what precautionary measures can be taken to be as safe as possible. By following their actions on safety, we can bring back large portions of our tourist-target demographic which in turn will help us gain a reputation of being safe and precautious while providing all the necessary services.
It can also be taken as an opportunity to promote domestic tourism as the number we need tourism to survive is not very demanding. With support for the government and corporate sector, we can implement rules to support domestic tourism and that could be the key and great foundation for the future if tourism.
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C & K Nepal travels and tours Pvt ltd
Some good reads on COVID-19 and it’s Impact on Tourism of Nepal.