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March 11, 2020

What tourism entrepreneurs say about Coronavirus effect in Nepal?

Kathmandu: Coronavirus that spread like a wildfire from mainland China has had its worldwide effects by now. It is affecting the tourism sector mainly. Its effect has created uncertainty for Visit Nepal 2020. Hotel and tourism entrepreneurs are worried that their clients have started canceling the earlier bookings.

Despite the advent of the tourist season in the country, there is no happiness in the tourism sector. The tourist hubs in Thamel and lakeside of Pokhara remain secluded and forlorn without the movement of tourists. Various tourism-related organizational representatives talked to highlights tourism about the effect of Coronavirus that follows below.

Dr. Dhananjay Regmi-CEO-Nepal Tourism Board (NTB)

Coronavirus has a worldwide effect. This is the time to remain safe from it. The whole global tourism is halted, not only ours. Bookings are canceled. Now the question is how to grapple with this situation. It is time to ponder over how to rescue the private sector from this challenge.

Khum Bahadur Subedi-Chairman – Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN)

There is no hundred percent truth in the reported news that most of the clients are canceling their bookings. The number of tourists has declined of course. Few client groups have canceled their bookings while others have not. We have urged our clients to wait and see for some time. So, it is not time to panic. Chinese tourists have not arrived. We are looking for alternative tourist sources in other countries and discussions in this connection are being held at various levels. We will leave no stone unturned to put our efforts on behalf of the private sector.

Achut Guragai-Chairman- Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATA)

Coronavirus has had the worst effect on Nepal’s tourism sector. More than 70% of bookings for March are being canceled. Most of the cancellations have come from the clients of China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Europe, and Canada. Few of the European clients have withheld their cancellations. The situation is going to adversely affect the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign and it would be difficult to materialize the government’s goal to bring 2 million tourists this year. This is the time for tour operators to be busy. But they are empty-handed.

Santa Bir Lama-Chairman-Nepal Mountaineering Academy (NMA)

The mountaineering sector also has been affected by Coronavirus. March, April, and May are the months for mountaineering, hiking and trekking seasons. The situation is likely to worsen further. Fifty percent of bookings for mountaineering is being canceled now. However, if the effect of Coronavirus comes down, it would not affect tourism to that extent. The situation is going to be grave if it continues till April and May.

Ganga Prasad Nepal-Chairman-Nepal Association of Rafting Agencies (NARA)

Coronavirus has the worst effect on Nepal’s tourism sector. If this situation remains the same, it will gradually affect other sectors of the country. NARA is also badly affected. We have no alternative, but to sit idle in the absence of tourists. Its effect on the economic sector will soon be felt.

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