Almost 18 months have elapsed since the massive earthquakes of April, and May 2015 struck Nepal and brought about significant mayhem then. Back then and in the immediate aftermath, the world was under the impression that all of Nepal was flattened. The fact is, only 14 out of the 75 districts were affected by the earthquakes. Several historical monuments were destroyed or partially damaged. Restoration work is in progress at many of these UNESCO heritage sites. Boudhanath Stupa restoration is reported to be completed six months before the schedule.
The effects of the earthquakes were shattering to the tourism industry. Foreign offices warned their citizens to avoid unnecessary travel to Nepal. The visitor arrival dropped by as much as two thirds for the first 8 to 10 months post-earthquake. Just as the Nepalese people were recovering from the damages brought about by the earthquakes, an unofficial trade embargo at the borders with India brought more difficulties to the nation, bringing all economic activities to a grinding halt.
On the positive side, although there was no denying the hardships brought about by the earthquakes and the Indian border impasse, it was a pleasant surprise and relief that few braved to visit Nepal to discover a different side of the Nepalese story. The story of the resilience of Nepalese people. Now all the western countries including the USA, UK, Australia, Germany, Denmark, Norway have removed the travel warning to Nepal deeming it safe for a visit. 37 Countries have officially listed trekking trails have been reopened for hiking after going through extensive safety check and repairs.
A lot of the tourism stakeholders were affected badly; some were on the verge of bankruptcy. Fortunately, everyone stood steadfast in supporting and encouraging one another. Several events and meetings were held on how to revive tourism and to promote Visitors to the country with messages that Nepal is safe again. In the meantime, domestic tourism was encouraged, and it was a significant success in helping sustain the entrepreneurs in the travel trade business.
Optimism is high in the air amongst tourism entrepreneurs. New Hotels are under construction, new restaurants are sprouting up, and more investments are made in other tourism infrastructures as well. Boutique hotels are springing up in the main cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara. There are reports on blog papers, magazines, and posts on Social media how the travel inquiries are gaining momentum again – all positive signs of improvement.
The autumn season is believed to be the busiest period for Nepal. If going by the indication that the tourist arrivals increased 13% in the first six months of this year, the tourism industry stakeholders are optimistic that the better days are just around the corner.
Now the visitors can once again enjoy our World Heritage sites, diverse cultures, numerous adventure activities such as mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, canyoning, paragliding, ultra-lite flights, zip line, mountaineering and hiking in the world-class trekking trails in the Himalayas and Kathmandu Valley's prized sites.
Your visit to Nepal means you are contributing to the speedy recovery of the tourism industry after the natural disaster.
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