IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE TOURISM INDUSTRY IN NEPAL
Asian Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Studies,
COVID-19 pandemic has caused a widespread disruption in socioeconomic activities including tourism sector. Several countries in the world including Nepal has imposed travel restriction and lockdown to combat COVID-19. This study is an attempt to find the tourism impact of COVID-19 in Nepal and forward recommendations for the preparation of evidence based policy and strategies. Primary data were collected from interviews with 25 travel and tour agencies, 30 hotels and four key informants working in the tourism sector of Nepal. Secondary data were obtained from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Nepal Tourism Board, journals, books and websites. The results showed that the tourist flow was increasing steadily till recently. In previous year (2019), the tourists' number was increasing from January till March, while in the current year declared as Visit Nepal 2020 the number abruptly declined since March though it was fairly good in the beginning of the year. When compared to the previous numbers, the declining rate of the tourists was 1.96% in January, 1.00% in February and 73.26% in March. Nepal has been a popular destination for tourists specifically from the countries like China, India and the USA with an annual flow of tourists more than a million. As seen from the available data, the number of Chinese tourists drastically decreased in February and March, coinciding with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Formation of a high level task force comprising experts and stakeholders of the tourism sector of Nepal is need of the time to draw a strategic plan to stop further loss and impacts.
- visit Nepal year.
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