Kathmandu, April 2
Foreign tourists who want to come to Nepal have complained that the visa process has become more complicated. According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nepal Tourism Board, Dhananjay Regmi, the number of complaints received by telephone has increased.
A few days ago, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and its subordinate bodies had widely publicized that the 'Criteria for Managing Tourist Traffic 2021' has facilitated tourist arrivals.
Based on this, the Immigration Department and the diplomatic missions abroad are returning the tourists who have come and tried to come to Nepal saying that there is no change in the decision of Savik. This has disappointed the tourists who are eager to come to Nepal and there is a lack of coordination among the three ministries of the government, according to the Tourism Board.
"There have been a lot of complaints from foreign diplomats under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration and Foreign Affairs, that they have not decided to facilitate the visa process," said Regmi.
Ram Kumar KC, Director General of the Immigration Department, said that Nepal could not open free movement at a time when the coronavirus pandemic was spreading around the world. He clarified that the decision taken by the Council of Ministers on April 19 was an attempt to make the tourist arrivals safer. However, he acknowledged that the decision did not create a conducive environment for tourists to visit Nepal.
Explaining the decision further, he said, "Initially, tourists have to get a visa from a diplomatic mission abroad. If there is no environment to get a visa, an on-arrival visa will be issued, but a condition has been laid down here." He also urged to read well.
It says, "Tourists wishing to obtain an on-arrival visa should submit the documents at the check-in counter of the airline mentioned in Article 7 to the immigration point at the airport." Documents or only completed vaccination against Covid-19 should be completed.
The visa obtained for coming to Nepal or the document of recommendation of the Department of Tourism or Tourism Board to participate in Nepal's tourism activities must be accompanied. Proof of hotel booking or accommodation must be provided in Nepal.
Emergency search, rescue, treatment, and other issues covering the trip to Nepal valid travel insurance documents must be mandatory. According to Director General KC, this provision is a pre-change provision. There has been no change in this. Immigration officials say tourists are now suffering because of the immature propaganda by the Ministry of Tourism, the Department and the Tourism Board.
Director General KC says, "If the visa had to be brought from abroad. If it is to be obtained from an immigration point of view, the recommendation of the board and the department is mandatory. What has changed in this?" Immigration is working to make it easier, he said.
According to the recent decision of the government, tourists still have to complete the paperwork and process to come to Nepal. Immigration had issued visas at the point of entry even before 5 April after completing this process. That is why the arrival is not as easy as advertised by the Ministry of Tourism and the Department.
However, after coming to Nepal, the mandatory quarantine has been removed and after coming to Nepal, the provision has been added to test PCR at one's own expense, stay in hotel quarantine at one's own expense till the result comes and go for a walk only if the PCR is negative.
Due to this decision, any tourist coming to Nepal should suffer the same even now. However, the propaganda that tourists do not have to stay in quarantine and that non-arrival visas are easy has added to the confusion among the tourists themselves.