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September 18, 2020

Guides in Covid-19 Pandemic: Govt overlooked them

  • Narendra Moktan, Chinese language guide

Kathmandu: I was professionally successful in 2018 and 2019. However, the problem cropped up with the beginning of the year 2020. Chinese tourists are important for me as I am a Chinese language guide. But every chance of work diminished as lockdown started in China followed by Nepal.

There was much expectation of Chinese tourist arrival in Nepal as Nepal had declared Visit Nepal 2020 and the Chinese new year occasion had commenced in China. But all Chinese bookings were canceled after a lockdown in China and Nepal.

It was extremely difficult for me to control myself for at least one week. I didn’t know what to do. Remaining confined to one room was difficult for me as I am such a person who enjoys and takes fun in strolling around Himal, meadows, hills, and valleys. But gradually, I started spending my leisure days by reading books and seeing videos. I went to Hattivan for rock climbing and hiking after the lockdown was eased.

My formers working friends have been asking me about my current situation and any support that I need during this crisis. However, I have been telling them that I need no support until now. I hope that the government will do something and bring some new project plans to redress the critical situation in the tourism sector.

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) has also been doing some useful works. The credit card plan brought by TAAN in coordination with Banks has not been beneficial for most of the guides as all guides can’t get the recommendations for a credit card from the companies.

I think the government in close coordination with various concerned units should initiate first aid, the study of photography, the tourism sector, and training for the guides and workers and provide them some remunerations to give relief to them.

Similarly, a cleaning campaign of Himal, research, and investigation works can be initiated. The government should consider including workers like us to be involved in the government declared a 50 billion trust plan.

(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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