Kathmandu, September 16
The Ministry of Tourism has started the process to facilitate the tourists who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in both phases. Once the proposal made by the ministry is approved by the Council of Ministers, the process of foreigners coming to Nepal will be easier.
Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yadav Prasad Koirala said that a letter had been sent to the Council of Ministers simplifying the provisions for this. "We have already started our homework. We have prepared a protocol for foreign tourists to visit Nepal and submitted it to the cabinet. We are waiting for the decision of the government. The same issue is being discussed in the Prime Minister's Office today, 'he said.
The new protocol prepared by the ministry has been simplified at the request of tourism entrepreneurs. Joint Secretary Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane said that the system of compulsory quarantine has been made flexible. "Tourists who have been vaccinated in both the phases will be able to visit on the basis that the PCR report is negative," he said. He said that the number of tourists visiting Nepal is expected to increase as vaccination becomes easier.
The protocol is designed to stay in Kathmandu for a short period of time. We have not set a time limit, 'he said. Discussions are yet to take place between CCMC, labor, health and other bodies. He informed that there will be a facility of on-arrival visas for the convenience of foreign tourists.
Entrepreneurs and experts associated with the Kathmandu tourism sector have been demanding immediate permission for foreign tourists to visit Nepal without any hindrance. They have demanded to create a conducive environment for the tourists who have already been vaccinated and come to Nepal with less than 96 hours of test papers without quarantine.
They have demanded immediate re-introduction of the on-arrival visa system keeping in view the convenience of tourists. Similarly, most of the service providers working in the tourism sector of the country and the local community of the main destination have also suggested the government to issue a travel advisory to send a positive message to those who have completed the vaccination.
According to the Tourism Board, the number of tourist arrivals in 2020 has declined by 81 percent compared to 2019. When the trade was disrupted due to the Corona pandemic, the employment of about one million people created in the tourism sector through the direct, indirect and direct supply chain is in crisis.
Entrepreneurs have stated that the tourism sector, which has an investment of more than Rs 400 billion in the banking and financial sector alone, is at high risk. According to the data prepared by the entrepreneurs, more than 25 percent of tourism businesses and enterprises have been shut down. The number of businessmen fleeing the tourism sector has increased.