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September 14, 2020

Saving guides is main challenge

Dolma Pakhrin, member- Trekking Guide Association of Nepal

Kathmandu: Covid-19 pandemic has not only affected Nepal, but also the entire world. It has adversely affected guides, porters and tourism operators alike.

The outbreak of Coronavirus started as  soon as the off season had come to an end and tourist season was about to begin. Then followed lock down to curb the spread of the virus. Then bookings started to be cancelled. The advances received had to be returned. It tensed the tourism operators and caused tourism workers to go famished.

As I run the company, I encountered multi-faceted problems including those of guides and other workers of tourism sector. Those guides working for various companies got support in case or kind, but those guides working as free lancer could not get this support.

We work with Canadian partner. So, we did support some of the workers of tourism including support provided to one of the schools of Solukhumbu.

I think the government should do something concrete to extend support to save the lives of the guides under these circumstances as the companies are not in a position to support these workers and  guides who are free lancers.

As a company runner, what I would say is that the companies should save the lives of the guides at this critical moment as we will need their services later on too. Even our clients would look for these guides. The guides are the main backbone of the tourism sector. So, it is the need of the hour to save their lives.

On behalf of Trekking Guides Association of Nepal, we have initiated efforts to push forward our demands to Nepal Tourism Board, government’s tourism department and tourism ministry. At this moment what can be done least is to mobilize the fund of 700 million rupees collected with the efforts of the teams for the tourism related guides and workers to save their lives for six months or one year. However, nothing has been done in this regard.

(Tourism sector is the most affected by Covid-19 pandemic. The tourism sector dependent on foreign tourists has badly affected the tourist guides. We have talked to some of the representatives of guides to know about their current state of being. We will continue to present some of the edited versions. Editor)


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