Nepal, the land of mountains, was eagerly waiting to welcome travelers all around the world in 2020 as the year 2020 was declared an important year in tourism in Nepal. With the theme ‘Visit Nepal 2020’, the tourism promotions were at a peak, and the travel agencies were prepared with their top-class services, but faith had other plans.
Nepal was hoping to escalate profit in an economic chart. Instead, the Nepal tourism industry suffered a freefall in 2020. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic knocked the world down, from which, we haven’t still able to stand up. But, the world is healing at a slow pace. Our life is adopting a new lifestyle. With people supporting each other, we are now focusing on life after COVID-19.
Similarly, Nepal is also gearing up to resume tourism in Nepal. Sadly, Nepal’s tourism industry has reached a zero level ground due to the lockdown. For over six months, the travel agencies, hotels, resorts, gear shops, airlines, tourism destinations were shutdown. But finally, Nepal is ready to welcome visitors and let them explore the hidden gems of Nepal.
Nepal Tourism Board has paid attention to the preparation that takes to resume the travel industry in Nepal. It majorly includes the health aspect and sanitizing. It is evident that traveling is not as easy in 2020 as it was back then. But, with proper safety and precautions, we can fulfill our dreams to travel and be close to nature.
So, as soon as Nepal’s tourism and civil aviation commence, the following guidelines and requirements will be considered.
1) Low-risk countries
All the flights to Nepal may not be active for now. Only the countries that have been less affected by the COVID-19 can have flights to Nepal. If the flight to Nepal is restricted in your country, then you can catch a flight to Nepal from a low-risk country scheduled to fly to Nepal.
2) Safety measures for Travelers
Just because we can move from one place to the other, doesn’t mean we are immune to coronavirus. COVID-19 is still prevalent, so we have to apply certain safety measures to prevent coronavirus. The airlines will check each traveler if they are healthy enough to travel or not at the airport. Here are some safety rules we travelers should follow to be eligible to travel to Nepal.
- The traveler must wear a facial mask to cover the mouth and nose.
- The traveler should have travel insurance.
- Use digital wallets for payment purposes.
- Travelers must carry a health certificate that proves they have taken the COVID-19 PCR test and the negative result on the test.
- Travelers should practice social distancing to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.
- Travelers must follow the guidelines provided by Nepal Tourism Board and Civil Aviation or may face legal actions on the violation.
3) Safety measures by workplace
It is not enough that only travelers follow safety measures and not the workplace. The effort should be from both parties. So, Nepal Tourism Board is planning to issue the following rules for the convenience of the travelers.
- The airlines should mandatorily have thermal scanners at the airport.
- The hotel should keep the rooms vacant for at least 48 hours after the guest leaves the hotel room. The room should be cleaned thoroughly to reduce the risk of coronavirus.
- Restaurants that ensures social distancing in the seating arrangement will qualify to serve our travelers.
- Airlines, hotels, travel destinations, and other places where a crowd is expected should have a guideline, toolkits, emergency services, and response plans on the go.
- The airline, hotels, and travel destinations should disinfect the surroundings and use protective equipment regularly.
- The workers of airlines should mandatorily wear protective attire and gears on the flight and at the airport. At other workplace, at least facial covering and gloves is a must. The guides and porters should follow precaution measures during trekking and climbing.
- The number of travelers visiting the hotel and travel destinations should be limited.
The airfare for the flight will be reduced for now. So that travelers can spend wisely on traveling.
5) Artificial intelligence
To promote the practice of social distancing, artificial intelligence can play a vital role in digitizing most of the tasks, such as using an eye scanner or face scanner for identification. It will help to avoid physical contact.
Trekking and climbing resumption
As the lockdown has come to ease as of September, the best time for trekking and climbing hasn’t passed. If trekking and climbing resume in the autumn season, then it’s going to be good news for many avid trekkers and climbers who are waiting to conquer the hills. As it is also a festive season, domestic travelers are also highly anticipated in various travel destinations.
The tourism board has been preparing necessary guidelines to start trekking and climbing activities in Nepal, but the exact date of resumption is yet to know. Most of the preparation has taken place as the Department of Tourism will also issue Standard Operating Procedures for travel destinations to run climbing and trekking activities in September.
The trekking and expedition operators are prepared to resume trekking and climbing. They are waiting for the official consent from the Department of Tourism. Once the airline resumes, the trekking and climbing operators will resume the activities by following the safety protocols. But, there will be some travel restrictions as all the trekking and climbing destinations may not be open for travelers. Only some travel destinations in Nepal will be available for travelers to explore. Most of the agencies may open Mt Ama Damla and Mt Manaslu for an expedition.
Nepal’s tourism is on the verge of resumption anytime soon. Nepal’s tourism has already suffered a loss in billions in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For travel operators to sustain their work, tourism resumption is an utmost need at the moment. There are certain safety protocols the travel companies, hotels, airlines, and travel destinations will follow to ensure the safety of travelers. The international flights will resume soon according to the preparation made by the government of Nepal.
In this difficult situation, people all around the world are struggling to be mentally calm. Being close to mountains slacks stress and gives us peace of mind. With proper precautions and safety measures, it is possible to travel and be closer to nature. Nepal Tourism Board and Civil Aviation will soon come up with tourism resumption plans soon so get ready to explore the unmatched natural beauty of the Himalayas.