The devastating earthquake of 25 April has badly affected the overall life in the country and tourism sector is not an exception. Tourism is one of the main contributors in the GDP generating a good job opportunity. The potential of tourism to grow and become the main GDP contributor was very high. But the earthquake has hit this sector so badly that many bookings for this season have been canceled and there are no any further queries for the coming days. In spite of the uncertainty of tourism in the wake of the devastating earthquake, here are a few facts about how the tourism sector was affected and what it will result in.
The immediate effects of the quake can be seen in two levels – infrastructural and psychological.
What Infrastructures have been affected?
1. Most of the cultural heritage sites in Kathmandu valley have faced the terrible fate turning many of the buildings into rubble.
2. Langtang, Manaslu and Everest Base Camp in the trekking region have been hit by the earthquake.
3. Some hotels have been damaged.
4. Most of the bookings for this season have been canceled affecting the whole tourism sector.
What have survived?
1. The most beautiful tourist town in Nepal, Pokhara, has been less affected keeping almost all infrastructures in sound condition
2. Chitwan National Park, Bardiya National Park, Lumbini have survived the quake
3. Annapurna region is sound to trek in. Everest can be done as well. Most of the tea houses and trails have survived the quake.
4. Only some of the monuments in Kathmandu valley heritage sites have been destroyed. There are many monuments which are still standing strong and still surviving the devastation.
5. Most of the hotels are less affected by the quake around the country so they are able to offer quality and safe accommodation.
6. All airports are operating in normal condition
7. All road connections are operating in good condition
The psychological effect of the earthquake has been worse and more terrible than the infrastructural one. Most of the tours, flight, and hotel bookings have been cancelled immediately after the quake and the cancellations are still following. No any new inquiries about future trip have been made. A terrible fear has been created in the mind of people. This has left the Nepal Tourism Industry in the verge of uncertainty. The time to think about the future of tourism from a new and innovative angle has come. If we fail to address this new need in time, the industry will be devastated forever.
Even though the tourism industry has been badly affected by the earthquake, the hope and potential to grow bigger hasn’t died at all. Tourism sector alone cannot be an exception to survive the quake while the whole nation has been devastated but this doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no future of the tourism in Nepal any more. There are still more than plenty of reasons why people should visit the country. They still can be sure of their safety and comfort while travelling in Nepal as they did before. It is true that we should do a lot towards rebuilding the nation but tourism can still go on ahead as before. Except some trekking areas like Manaslu and Langtang for now, other tourist areas are in perfectly good condition where tourists can enjoy their holiday to the fullest.
So, travel to Nepal as you did before and, without any doubt, help rebuild this beautiful Himalayan country.