This is a challenging time for us all. It’s not just our travel and tourism industry but the majority of the businesses face the impact of the on-going pandemic in some form or the other. As many businesses are bound to pick up pace post the co-vid phase, travel and tourism is one industry that’s expected to take longer for its complete recovery. However, I am not here to discuss the challenges or hardships that we’ll have to incur over the coming period but to look at the opportunity the situation presents.

I believe there are still some positives that we can look into. Firstly, we have to believe in the fact that people will travel again, sooner rather than later. Travelling has always been the essence of human behaviour. Whether it be for leisure, work, exploration, or even self-discovery, humans have this undying quest for curiosity and travelling in its own way tends to bring them closer to their quest. The pandemic may in a sort serve us a unique opportunity to reposition or even re-strengthen ourselves as a destination for experiential journeys. Given our status of being a mystique land and an adventure haven, maybe we could use the recovery time to rebuild and retool ourselves as a unique commodity, adding a few more hemispheres to our already mystique blend of nature, art, and culture. Eco and sustainable tourism, agro-tourism, and wellness are some of the dimensions that can be looked into. Along with maintaining the current infrastructure and developing new ones only where required. Better connectivity and access to the local as well as international travellers.

If we look at it as an opportunity, this may be the perfect time for us to work on our shortcomings and re-strengthen ourselves for the promising times that lay ahead. As an optimist, I always believe that every crisis hands us an opportunity and this just maybe ours. In the travel hemisphere, we are a unique product with so many different horizons to explore and it’s high time we realize our own value, rather than selling ourselves short.

Now, coming back to the present, I firmly believe that during the recovery period, support from the government, Nepal Tourism Board, and all affiliated stakeholders are highly required for the industry to stand on its feet. We are all in it together and since tourism is an eco-system, we all have to play our part to come out of this stronger and better. The future is promising but saving the present should be our key priority for now. Till then, stay safe everyone.

 

Akshov Shrestha
Operations Director
Raniban Retreat 
Pokhara