Kathmandu, June 18
The government has estimated that it will take two years for the country’s tourism industry to return to its pre-Covid-19 status even if the pandemic impacts are to subside immediately.
A projection launched by the National Planning Commission says the the country could take two years to welcome as many foreign tourists as it would see regularly before the pandemic.
In the fiscal year 2019/20 (mid-July to mid-July), the country had recorded 1 million and 197,000 foreigners for tourism purposes. Although the government had announced the ambitious Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign with a mission of attracting at least two million tourists, it was called off in the third month citing the pandemic.
As the current fiscal year, 2020/21, is ending next month, the country since mid-July 2020 received around 230,000 foreigners, and it is unlikely to increase significantly. This is the lowest that Nepal recorded in the past two cades.
On top of that, the country’s apex planning body estimates the figure next year (FY 2021/22) is likely to stand at around 500,000 only. It will be more than double in the FY 2022/23 only, close to the 2019/20 mark.
Meanwhile, tourism entrepreneurs from the private sector have blamed the government for failing to present any clear plan to revive the industry after the pandemic will be over.