By Phurpa Sherpa, KATHMANDU:- COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread disruption in socioeconomic activities including the tourism sector.
Mountaineering Guide Dawa Singhi Hyolmo, from Helambu, Sindhupalchok, said during an interview with Nepal24hours.com correspondent, because of the Covid-19 trekking and Mountaineering guide are going through economically, mentally, financially, and some are even diverting their tourism profession.
During the lockdown as another citizen, I spent by staying at home but now with proper safety measures and COVID-19 precautions I had started going for outdoor activities like cycling, rock climbing, hiking and self-exploration to continue my profession. As now it’s not possible for some months to get international tourists as our government hasn’t opened the international and domestic flights but we have hope soon the government will open the door for international tourists.
So, what I expect from the government is that International flights should open so that it can help in the tourism sector. Many of tourism employees and workers have been thinking to divert their profession to other sectors as they have been going through very laborious time. So, the government should also focus on this matter. As our trekking and mountaineering is a seasonal job and the lots of Nepalese guides had already lost their job because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And we don’t know how long it will go on because Nepalese trekking and mountaineering guides have been going through economically.
He added traveling trend among Nepalese travelers is rising and excited to travel. Promoting domestic tourism and giving full priority to them helps to increase the economic condition of the nation which that was similar from international tourism. So, we are planning to provide tour services with reliable prices to continue the travel and tourism industry process in Nepal.
Zigmey Lama Hyolmo, a local resident of Tinchuli, Boudha who had worked at Saraswati Mandal Soring Healing Center as a Manager for around eight months. Saraswati Mandal Soring Healing Center is a tourism-based center so for that all the foreign tourist visits but after the government had announced lockdown from March 24, 2020. The number of foreigners had declined and the rent was also high for that the office had totally closed now. Along with that, there are fewer chances of reopening the business as the office had already gone through losing.
According to Hyolmo, “In this center, the maximum number of foreigners only used to come in comparison to Nepalese. Covid-19 had an impact upon my job because it was going well before but now I’m going through an economical crisis. Before I was economically independent but now I have to depend upon parents. Similarly, before I choose tourism sector as I love to travel and meeting with new people is my passion, to increase communicable skill. Right now I’m totally confused about what to do next, should I continue my further study?
He added, Nepal is an agricultural country as well as a tourism country and it is based on the tourism sector. Remittances have been playing a vital role in the business sector of the country but the tourism sector had also played an important role t support our country. Likewise, the tourism areas of our country like Pokhara, Mustang the people from these sites depended upon tourism. “I wanna say Nepal is a beautiful country full of natural beauty for that government should also think about the tourism sector to upgrade the economic sector.”
“As we know that nothing is permanent in this world even this Covid-19 so what I believe is our country is like a small piece HEAVEN with all-natural diversity, apart from this our country is the birthplace of Lord Buddha so we have lot potentiality in the tourism sector. Main this is that our government should bring better policy for controlling Covid-19 and safety for tourists like Dubai have done it. YES, TOURISM IS POSSIBLE IN THIS HEAVEN.” said the lama.
Similarly, a local resident of Simaltar, Kapan, Sonam Nurbu Lama, an owner as well as climber, trekkers of Responsible Treks, Travel, and Discover said, “He has been running the Treks Office by collaboration with his own brother. It had been ten years establishment of the office and serving the national and international tourists. Our main objective is to be responsible for Treks Office for both international and national tourists. Since the date of the establishment of our office, we have exploring unexplored places in the country. From Covid-19 mostly tourism sectors have been impacted, we aren’t getting such kind of help from the government as we have been paying tax regularly.
From beginning also we have been providing hiking for the domestic tourists and now also we are looking for to upgrade the facilities for them by reducing the price amount, as the domestic tourists are likely to go for a tour without the help from the treks office as they think it is quite expensive to travel through treks office. But now also we are making some planning regarding domestic tourists by reducing the price in the package. It is being a very tough time for us like treks office to run as it’s already been more than three months the office had been closed.
If it continues like this then we have to close the office as some of the Treks offices around the Thamel area had closed totally because of the financial crisis.
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