Hotels teetering on the edge amid the coronavirus closure have decided to cut their losses by remaining shuttered for six months, as they don’t expect tourists to visit Nepal for at least another year.
Officials said more than 3,000 hotels will send their staff home because they can’t keep paying their salaries with no revenue coming in due to the lockdown.
Even if the lockdown is lifted, the tourism industry will take time to recover because travellers will not immediately book foreign trips. The hotels will all be bankrupt by the time tourism rebounds as they have to pay staff salaries while income has come down to zero.
With the growing threat of coronavirus ‘pandemic’ across the world, the Nepali Government has officially canceled the ambitious ‘Visit Nepal Year (VNY) 2020’ campaign.
The decision was formally endorsed at the recent meeting of the Council of Ministers on March 22, 2020.
Similarly, the government has also decided to dissolve VNY Secretariat from April 13, 2020.
Earlier, the Nepali Government canceled all the international promotional activities related to the tourism campaign in view of rapid coronavirus outbreak globally.
But as the coronavirus outbreak turned pandemic, the government has decided to cancel the VNY campaign.
The Nepali Government has launched the ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ campaign with much fanfare on January 1, 2020 with an aim to attract 2 million foreign tourists
Nepalese citizens and the tourism industries are believing and hoping very high that the Year 2020 will create a great scenario in Nepalese Tourism which also believed to grow the Nepalese economy. Government of Nepal, several associations and councils related to tourism and tourism enterprises are hoping to enjoy the great Visit Nepal 2020. The official declaration of Visit Nepal Year 2020 has been giving high potentiality and hope for the mass tourist’s arrival. Paradoxically, the new coronavirus outbreak in late December 2019 is hard-hitting badly on such hopes and wishes.
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID- 19) is threatening the world. The Outbreak has caused more than 3,000 deaths among the 89,000 cases (02-03-2020). After mainland China, South Korea, Italy Iran, and other countries have also suffered from the tragedy of Coronavirus. Numbers of new cases are coming out there.
Corona Virus and its impact on Nepalese Tourism and Visit Nepal Year 2020
Before the outbreak of Covid-19 in late December 2019, the expectation for tourism growth and success of VisitNepal2020 was very high and the scenario was also positives. But the outbreak makes the uncertainty in the success of the fest VNY2020. Even the expectation was high until mid-February because of the no cases of Corona in Nepal. But the recent publication of the World Health Organization (WHO) almost kills the hopes of every tourism industry in Nepal. According to the publication of WHO, Nepal is among those nations where the possible impact of Novel Corona is very high and the condition may be worst.
Till the last weeks, the government of Nepal and the tourism department had trying to promote Nepal as the corona free nation to influence the tourist to visit Nepal. But the uncontrollable condition of Novel corona and its more cases outside the china which becoming worst makes the condition to stop every Visit Nepal Year 2020 promote and publicity programs.
The Government of Nepal (GON) discussed the issue and the VISIT NEPAL YEAR 2020. The Cabinet of the ministry has decided to defer all the promotion and the worldwide VNY2020 Programs. Cabinet is also planning and preparing to postpone the fest to 2022.
The promotional campaigns and fairs in the purpose of attracting more than 2 million foreign tourists (almost double of last year) are all canceled. Because of the situation and the worst condition due to Novel Corona Virus, the Government of Nepal is planning to introduce measures to promote domestic tourism. The Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MOTCA) Yogesh Bhattarai said that they are postponing the international tourism promotion for the time being and will introducing measures to promote domestic tourism.
The VISIT NEPAL YEAR 2020 committee informed that the planned promotional campaign at Berlin Tourism Fair, Germany, had canceled as the organizer them self canceled the fair because of the Outbreak.
The committee also canceled its planned promotional events in China.
The committee also told that the priority of GON has now shifted to building necessary infrastructures to handle the possible influx or rush of the tourists as the situation becomes normal or even better.
The major tourists visiting Nepal were from India and China as per the previous years. For VNY2020, Nepal was expecting the mass inflow of tourists from India and China but the COVID-19 Outbreaks closed all the doors, wisely the government has also needed to shut the doors for the arrivals compulsively to make sure the protection of the citizens and public.
All the flights between China and Nepal are closed and suspended which almost stop any arrivals of Chinese Tourists. The Nepalese tourism experts and authorities are also saying that it’s not a time for counting the numbers of tourists visiting Nepal but it’s a time to express solidarity that is affected by this epidemic. It is time to walking together to fight back the threat of the outbreak.
What is the current situation of the Corona Virus in Nepal?
Nepal is the neighboring country of China. It is also sharing its huge share of international trade with China. After India, China is the main place of Nepal’s import. Not only in trade but these two countries are also related and linked with tourism and many arrivals and departures.
As large numbers of tourists visit Nepal, Nepalese are also visiting China and the large size of peoples is also in China for their study.
The first case of Coronavirus in Nepal is found in the person who recently returned from Wuhan, mainland China who was there for his study and education. As the symptoms were similar to the Corona Virus, he consults with doctor who sent his sample to Hong Kong and the result shocked whole Nepal as it was the first case of Corona Virus in Nepal. after few days 2 peoples also visit the hospital as they were in the same symptoms of Novel Corona but that time result was negative and they are not infected by COVID-19. After weeks of rest and cure, the person suffered Corona also recovered home. The main crisis come to point when the Government planned to take back the all Nepalese who were in Wuhan, mainland China, the place where the Novel corona got the outbreak. Lack of proper equipment, infrastructures and preparation make the improper taken of GON for taking all the rescued peoples in the quartile. All rescued peoples are also verified that they are still no symptoms of Coronavirus.
The up trending rise of Corona Virus cases and the number of deaths gives lots of noise in Nepal. The mess-up of Corona makes a high impact on peoples. It is threatening the peoples and citizens.
The Government of Nepal is planning to suspend all the flight schedules which are destined to and from those locations where the Corona Virus outbreak has made its impact.
GON is also planning to suspend the Visit Neap Year 2020 and all the promotional campaigns and fair related to the VNY2020 promotion are canceled.
The country said it would toughen regulations after several climbers died last year. But the rules will not go into effect this spring, and climbers want to know why.
Hundreds of climbers trapped near Mount Everest’s summit, hooked to a single safety line on a ridge with a several-thousand-foot drop, their oxygen cylinders emptying until a few people died from exposure.
The traffic jam during last spring’s climbing season, one of the deadliest on the planet’s highest mountain, underlined what veteran alpinists have been saying for years: Ego, inexperienced climbers, big payouts and chronic mismanagement – including the dangerous practice of cutting corners on vital safety equipment – have turned Everest into a circus at 29,000 feet.
After the season ended, Nepal’s government announced robust safety rules intended to weed out inexperienced climbers, reduce the number of people on Everest and prevent another pileup, which was blamed for some of the 11 deaths in 2019.
But now, the government says the new rules will not be imposed for the coming climbing season, which begins in April and lasts through May. Despite international scrutiny and intense pressure from climbing groups to tighten operations on Everest, officials say the rules need further review before they can be put in place.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) would like to appraise all concerned about the series of measures implemented by the Government of Nepal to reduce imported cases and the community transmission of the COVID19 (Wuhan Coronavirus) in Nepal.
The Government of Nepal is monitoring the spread of Corona Virus (COVID-19). Taking into account the global recommendations and measure of the WHO, Government of Nepal has decided to temporarily suspend visa-on-arrival for the nationals of the following countries, effective from March 10, 2020 to till the date of further notice:
People’s Republic of China, including Special Administrative Regions
Islamic Republic of Iran
Republic of Korea
However, those wanting to travel to Nepal can obtain visa beforehand from the Nepal Mission abroad. Applicants in these countries are required to submit a recently issued health certificate with the visa application. (Source: www.nepalimmigration.gov.np)
The Tribhuvan International Airport, which is the only international point of entry by air, has stepped up screening measures using additional thermal scanners, thermal guns, sanitizing spray and an increase in the number of health assistants. (source: Ministry of Health and Population)
A new provision of announcement has started at the arrival section in TIA for necessary screening for all passengers.
Travellers experiencing symptoms (discovered through checks or via self declaration) are immediately quarantined and more tests are to be conducted by the Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, which is equipped with a special unit and trained medical staff. A quarantine facility has also been established and is on standby just on the outskirts of the city of Bhaktapur. (source: Ministry of Health and Population)
The Health Ministry has requested the public to temporarily suspend all major gatherings in order to reduce the risk of community spread. (source: Ministry of Health and Population)
At the Nepal Tourism Board, the Crisis Response Unit will be posting regular updated advisories on the COVID19 threat on our official website and social media channels.
Recent coronavirus outbreak in China has alarmed the tourism sector in Nepal.
The virus has already entered Nepal and could spread further. It could render a serious blow to the tourism industry, among other sectors. Therefore, we need to take strong measures against the disease.
Health check-up desks for foreigners should be set up not only at the airports but also along the Nepal-India border.
Tourists have already started cancelling hotel bookings.
The outbreak first seen in Chinese Wuhan city has already been seen in Nepal as well.
Ghale Ghaun homestay:
It is another prodigious home stay in Nepal which is very famous. This village is a Gurung settlement with its ethnic culture preserved.
You can taste local dal, rice, and meat of Local chicken and local drink. You can also learn their language and culture. Ghale Ghaun is about an hour drive from Besisahar. Besisahar is 6 hours drive from the capital.
You must have heard this name earlier. It’s a beautiful village in the hilltop of Kaski. Well, I won’t say it’s close to Pokhara, it’s about 4 hours of drive from the valley. But the time is worth to spend a night in Ghandruk. You can get a private or public vehicle to the place.
Balthali Village homestay:
Balthali is 40 Km away from Kathmandu. This small sleepy settlement rests at the junction of Ladku Khola and Roshi. Balthali Village is a perfect place for isolation and relaxation. You will be surrounded by the typical Nepali countryside with ochre thatched farmhouses and terraced rice fields. You can witness the snowy peaks of Langtang, Dorjee Lhakpa, and other mountain ranges.
Located just 32 kilometers from the capital, Panauti is a prodigious place to spend a night. It is probably the closest one from the valley, yet very beautiful. Panauti is a Newar settlement that reflects the typical culture of Nepal. And if you are lucky, you might be celebrating one of their festivals.
Sirubari village homestay:
The Sirubari Village is a perfect place for visitors for the first-hand experience in villages of Nepal. It’s a pristine Gurung village in Syangja district of Nepal. A short drive and walk from Pokhara lead us to Sirubari.
With volunteering becoming more popular around the world, opportunities in every sector are becoming available in Nepal.
With countless opportunities, people find it difficult to know where to start looking and how to get involved. While starting the process, it is important to remember that volunteering can take many different forms. It can range from a single event or act of kindness to even a long-term participation. The best way to get involved, is join a friend that is already volunteering, or get a group of friends together and volunteer for a day.
This year’s event is being organized by volunteer organizations working throughout Nepal.
Awareness booths for sharing on volunteerism have been setup in Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Kirtipur, according to the UN Information Center.
A collaborative event at Tribhuvan University in Kirtipur has been organized to raise awareness of volunteerism. The event is being run simultaneously with a blood donation, volunteer information booth and an “equalizer photo” event.
With events happening all over Kathmandu Valley, UNV in collaboration of other organizations, has mobilized over 100 volunteers in the following locations: Basantapur, Boudha, Exhibition Road, Jawalakhel chowk (in front of the zoo), Patan Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Kamal Binayak. These events are being held from 11:00 to 3:00 pm today with an aim to provide opportunities for people, particularly those often excluded, to concretely impact their own lives and play a constructive role in their communities by volunteering their time and skills, the UN Information Centre stated.
Search for four South Korean trekkers, three Nepali guides continues days after avalanche hits Mount Annapurna trail.
Special army and government rescue personnel have intensified their search for four South Korean trekkers and their three Nepali guides who went missing after an avalanche swept a popular trekking route in Nepal’s mountains.
All other trekkers who were in the area where the avalanche swept the Mount Annapurna trekking trail about 150km (90 miles) northwest of the capital Kathmandu on Friday have been safely rescued and flown to safer areas
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has planned to conduct tourism training targeting 5,000 people in view of the Nepal Visit Year (2020).
As said by the Board, the training aims to promote the Visit Year, contributing to realise the goal of welcoming two million tourists during the period. Training for taxi and tourist vehicle drivers, home stay operation training in villages, nature guides, Chinese and Russian language, trekking guides, mountain leaders and local tours training will be given to such a number of people who will contribute to making the Year successful.
Likewise immigration service, primary treatment for tourists, Nepali handicrafts making skill, sanitation and health practices, capacity enhancement, proper management and promotion of tourism business, women-focused tourism business and digital marketing and production will be covered by the training package.
Board manager Santosh Kumar Ghimire said those people will represent several tourism-related organisations. The Board has allocated Rs 20 million to conduct the Visit Nepal Year promotional training, but it is, as said by Ghimire, is insufficient. The Board has planned to come up with other sorts of tourism promotional programmes in coordination with the local levels.
Similarly, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation is preparing to provide additional 5,000 human resources with tourism training.