After the spread of COVID-19, the first industry that was hit hard and seriously affected is tourism. Fear of outbreak is a tough blow for the economy of our country, which seemed on the verge of an uncertain revival after 2015 earthquake and the blockade Nepal faced.
Tourism and hospitality industry is very badly affected by the pandemic and that’s because of the business which is related to the travelling of people. Pandemics always have an immediate impact on the industry like airlines, hotels, restaurants and travel agencies due to the international travel restrictions and government measures.
The entire global economy is crippling with lost production and demand with devastating effects on families and communities. Governments have been taking hasty decisions. It might take years to recover.
Pandemic and economy are linked by more than mere analogy. The financial trouble will spread like a virus too. According to industry leaders, this is one of the worst crises ever to hit the tourism industry impacting all its geographical segments – inbound, outbound and domestic, almost all tourism verticals – leisure, adventure, heritage, MICE, corporate, and niche segments. The whole tourism value chain, hotels, travel agents, tour operations, destinations, restaurants, entertainment venues, and air/land transportation, has been hit. The tourism industry will be taking a severe beating due to the outbreak with hundred thousand of people dependent on it suffering losses and job cuts.
There are certainly no bookings but cancellations for this summer and upcoming autumn seasons. This extraordinary situation is hitting our economy very hard. It will also put a curb on spending and people will have different priorities.
If government policies come in to place in a timely manner tourism may restart in phases with domestic travel when the situation improves. That may give some relief to the hotel industry outside the valley.
The government needs to work on impact assessment of the coronavirus pandemic immediately and also come up with the relief packages for the tourism and hospitality industry.
Senior consultant – Tibet Vista Nepal Tours Pvt. Ltd.
Founder – The Farm at Betini