In this front, after nearly one and a half months of the massive earthquake that struck this beautiful country lying in the laps of the mighty Himalayas, Nepal has reopened its important heritage sites with a fresh hope that tourists will return back to the country.
These sites include the three former “durbar” or royal squares in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The opening started with a small celebration in Bhaktapur with dance and music performances followed by the Tourism Minister Kripasur Sherpa’s speech appealing people to visit the nation for a holiday “to help rebuild Nepal .”
A senior official at the Nepal Tourist Board, Aditya Baral, said that they intended to let the world know that Nepal is a safe destination and perfect host with “renewed enthusiasm.” In his words, “The government is trying to show that this is a tourism-friendly country and [that] devastation, that was in the past, but now people have recouped and they have come back to normal life. You know, people still have some fear psychosis to travel to Nepal.”
Winning back tourists may not be easy for Nepal. Infact it is going to take quite some time even with consistent efforts. In a recent statement, UNESCO has expressed concern over safety matters on the reopening of ancient sites, saying that some of these sites are still in a precarious condition. However, the concerned officials of the country have assured that there are no risks involved as tourists will be given guided tours and will be escorted to the safe structures only. They will also be given safety helmets in some places.
Low income workers the worst sufferers
People such as hotel staff, guides and porters are finding it really difficult to sustain their lives after the natural calamity. The government’s bid to boost up the tourism sector as quickly as possible comes as a solution to rebuild lives of low income workers, who have been completely shattered by the earthquake and left jobless.
The officials involved in the tourism industry in Nepal are of the opinion that media reports have “highly exaggerated” the extent of damage to Nepal’s infrastructure and heritage sites. This has scared tourists from coming to the country.
The reality by far is that everything from the Kathmandu airport, to hotels, roads and other communication links have come back to normal. There is absolutely no reason for visitors to fear and stay away from the country and only if people come, will they realize that things are not as bad as they have been projected. Cheap flights to Kathmandu are available from all major cities of the world.
Things are improving fast and it is commendable that in a famous resort in Pokhara, occupancy has shot up from “zero” a month ago to nearly thirty percent.
Nepal is hugely reliant on its tourism industry. Travel and tourism are the biggest source of earnings for this naturally and culturally blessed nation. However, the earthquake has adversely affected tourism in the region and this is a matter of huge concern. In this regard, the country is now seeking the help of international experts to revive its tourism potential. Authorities have asked for expert guidance for the assessment of areas that can be declared safe for trekking and hiking. The country is putting up good efforts to make it stand upright on its feet. Cheap tickets to Kathmandu are also being offered at attractive rates.
There is much hope for the revival of travel and tourism in Nepal. According to Daniel Martin, emerging markets analyst, “Generally speaking, the negative economic effects of natural disasters tend to be very short-lived. And depending on the size of reconstruction spending, growth can actually be given a boost in the medium term."
With this optimism in mind and spirit, the government and the people are collectively working to attain their common goal of growth and improvement. Please visit http://www.brightsun.co.uk
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