Tourism stakeholders advocate government to relax health safety protocols

Tourism stakeholders have demanded that the government relax the strict health safety protocols for tourists coming to Nepal. Organising a joint press meet on February 22, tourism entrepreneurs demanded that the government remove the mandatory provision of quarantine for tourists carrying negative report of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Entrepreneurs also alleged that the government is not serious in solving the problems facing the tourism sector, saying that the overall tourism industry including Nepal’s mountain tourism, has collapsed due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Two dozen tourism-related organisations including Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal, Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents, Hotel Association Nepal, Nepal Mountaineering Association, Himalayan Rescue Association and Society of Travel and Tour Operators Nepal organised the joint press meet to draw the attention of the government as the tourists season is nearing.

During the meet, entrepreneurs also demanded that the government introduce a provision of providing on-arrival visa services to all tourists coming to Nepal. Entrepreneurs also said that provision of granting online visa and visa from Nepali embassies or missions abroad should be arranged. They also urged the government to operate the Tribhuvan International Airport in full fledged manner.

“How can easing international travel restrictions risk the spread of coronavirus when there is no such risk during the daily protests being organised in the country?” asked Khum Bahadur Subedi, President of TAAN. He said that tourists with negative PCR reports and who have been inoculated against the virus should be allowed to roam freely. He also demanded the removal of requirements of $5,000 worth of Covid 19 insurance for all tourists.

Achyut Guragain, President of NATTA, said that border checkpoints between Nepal and China should be opened as soon as possible, and vehicles entering from the borders with India and China should be allowed without any hindrance.

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