Tourists at Poon Hill. File Photo: NTB
KATHMANDU: The impact of the novel coronavirus on Nepal’s tourism is unquestionable – most vitally the suspension of the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign that was launched by the Government of Nepal with an aim to attract two million international visitors.
The fact cannot be denied that the coronavirus has convulsed Nepal’s tourism industry as its faces an unprecedented confluence of threats, mainly the COVID-19 and its subsequent consequences.
This has not spared Kathmandu either. The capital’s tourist hub, Thamel, is deserted. It’s, however, the same story all over the world.
Nepal’s tourism destinations, which used to be ordinarily over-trafficked, are now bereft of visitors.
With several businesses in Nepal dependent on tourism, the knock-on effect is terrific, which means that the country’s tourism industry has been tremendously affected by the spread of novel coronavirus.
That’s the reason why Nepal government imposed a week-long ‘lockdown’ beginning Tuesday besides introducing travel restrictions to contain the coronavirus spread.
Tourism sector has entered a crisis due to the global panic of the COVID-19 – its duration still unspecified — leading to cancelations of trips, hotel reservations, public events, among others, and most importantly the fall in income.
Enthusiastic with the inauguration of the VN2020, airlines, hotels, restaurants, trekking, adventures, among others are a few of the most-hardest hit travel industries suffering the most immediate repercussions.
In fact, this is a global scare, not just about Nepal and its tourism as people want to remain indoors. However, tourism entrepreneurs are, at least, convinced that when the country’s or the world’s economy is getting impacted, tourism would not be spared.
The global coronavirus pandemic means millions of tourism jobs are at risk. However, the day isn’t far when Thamel’s streets, the Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Pokhara’s touristic spots, among others will be jam-packed with tourists.