In the Eyes of Tourism Entrepreneurs: 2080 Review

Nepal's tourism industry, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and cultural heritage, continues to face challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, despite recent positive developments in mountain tourism.

 While efforts to revive the sector have shown promise, industry leaders voice concerns over policy errors, infrastructure deficiencies, and economic burdens hindering the sector's progress.

The COVID-19 pandemic,dealt a severe blow to Nepal's tourism sector, causing a direct impact for approximately two to three years. Despite this, recent data from the Nepal Tourism Board reveals a glimmer of hope, with approximately 963,700 tourists visiting Nepal between Baisakh and Falgun of Nepali year 2080 (April to February). However, challenges persist, including policy shortcomings and inadequate infrastructure.

Binayak Shah, President of the Hotel Association Nepal (HAN), commends improvements in tourist arrivals but criticizes the government's failure to prioritize infrastructure development, particularly at Pokhara and Bhairahawa international airports.

Shah emphasizes the urgent need for collaboration between the government and the private sector to enhance service quality and accommodate the growing number of tourists.

Moreover, industry leaders like Nima Sherpa, President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, and Bhabhishwar Sharma, Chairman of the Thamel Tourism Development Council, acknowledge the government's proactive measures in enhancing mountain tourism post-COVID-19.

Sherpa lauds the government's efforts in fostering mountain tourism improvements, citing tangible progress and revised policies benefiting tourism activities in mountainous regions.

However, Nilhari Bastola, Chairman of the Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN), expresses disappointment over the sector's inability to achieve expected progress despite favorable conditions. Bastola highlights persistent economic burdens and calls on the government to address taxation issues affecting tourism entrepreneurs.

Despite challenges, industry leaders remain optimistic about the sector's potential for growth and prosperity. Continued collaboration between the government and stakeholders is deemed essential for navigating the sector through its current challenges and realizing its full potential in the years to come.

As Nepal seeks to position itself as a premier tourist destination, addressing the concerns raised by industry leaders will be crucial in ensuring sustained growth and success in the country's tourism sector. With concerted efforts and strategic planning, Nepal can leverage its natural and cultural assets to emerge as a leading tourism destination in the region.


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