NABIL AD

Will Nepalese tourism rebound in 2021? Domestic Tourism a Savior?

GARIMA BANK

  • Kripa Acharya
We have lost almost a year of our lives to this catastrophe named covid-19 and hope and pray that we can come out of these challenging times, healthy and safe. 
Tourism is brought to a standstill by the pandemic. The industry is bleeding and under stress. As of September 2020, more than 121 million jobs and livelihoods in the Travel and Tourism sector have been impacted globally creating the worst economic and social crisis. 
Travel restrictions from governments stand as the main barrier for the revival of tourism. A majority of experts see a rebound in international tourism in 2021, in particular by the third quarter 2021, while around 20% expects it to occur only in 2022, as per UNWTO. 
It is very important for the public and private sector to work together to create the path forward to provide the economic recovery needed for the Travel & Tourism industry without compromising the necessary health measures and, bring back millions of jobs. 
While we know government’s role is crucial for the revival, we also know that it is the eternal wanderlust in men that makes tourism bounce back every time. We had challenges in the past as well- SAARS, 9/11, the Financial Crisis, Earthquake, but Tourism have had a strong pull through each time. 
I believe it will recuperate with the foundation of domestic tourism. Until confidence builds up international travel looks sluggish. People will start with short safe journeys exploring unexplored destinations in the neighborhood. Innovations, and technology will drive tourism growth. Imaginative development of destinations that are safe, hygienic, easily accessible should be the essential framework of tourism recovery plan. 
Our tiny land-locked nation nestled in the lap of Himalayas is a beauty in itself. The scenic mountain ranges, the peaceful lakes amidst the astounding landscapes, the rivers, the hills and the heritages, pleasant climate and weather and above all our Nepalese hospitality that we receive wherever we go makes Nepal a perfect tourist destination. It has everything to explore – mountains, adventure, wilderness, heritage, culture, wellness, rural tourism and much more. This can all be experienced by maintaining the new norms of travel and tourism – social distancing, hygiene and sanitization. 
There are thousands of places around Nepal which are rich in history, culture, mythology and natural beauty but are lesser known. It is time to build tourism on such assets, spread it far and wide –into the rural areas, off the beaten track so that tourism enriches the tourist’s experiences, the communities and the environment. 
We need to help and support local businesses, small lodges and hotels and small travel entrepreneurs who are struggling to exist because of the grinding halt brought by the pandemic. Hence, it is time to start roving around those unreached corners of Nepal which are equally beautiful and adventurous as any international destination. It is necessary for us to protect the Survival of Nepalese Tourism before thinking of the Revival. 
With remote working taking center stage during the pandemic lockdown, the volume of business travel may be limited initially. Some sectors won’t prioritize travelling for work as it will save money and ensure higher degrees of safety to conduct business virtually. The only hope is the domestic leisure travel. 
So, the next time you think you want a break, get away with your backpack on the dusty off-road towards the rural sides of our own motherland. Experience the adventure, feel the beauty and relieve the stress and know that you are also supporting in enriching the lives of the surrounding community. Ensure to stay safe and maintain healthy measures. 
Support Local and Save National Tourism! 
Jagadamba
MEGA

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