Various tourist-related organisations have urged that the government present a master plan with specific measures for the upliftment of the tourism sector, which has been harmed by the continuing COVID-19.
On Sunday, a delegation of 14 tourism-related organisations, including the Hotel Association of Nepal, the Nepal Mountaineering Association, the Nepal Trekking Agencies’ Association, and the Nepal Association of Tours and Travel Agents (NATTA), presented Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba with a memorandum outlining their demands.
They also requested that the government include in the economic white paper programmes for the restoration and improvement of infection-affected tourism. The government should establish a framework for implementing and monitoring the tourist provisions included in the current fiscal year’s budget, 2021/22.
When PM Deuba received the memo, he assured them that he was sympathetic to their concerns and promised to develop a strategy after talking with the business sector once the government was fully operational, according to NATTA President Achyut Guragain.
Other demands include a five-year full remission of demand charges and a 50 percent reduction in electricity costs for hoteliers. The government should be required to deposit funds in the social security fund for workers and employees in the tourism industry for at least two years.
COVID-19 vaccines should be available within 30 days to tourism workers who are on the front lines of the infection, and an arrangement should be made for vaccinated foreign tourists not to be required to stay at a quarantine facility upon their arrival in Nepal, and for PCR tests to be performed at Tribhuvan International Airport.
To properly apply the health procedures against the virus, there should be a framework for on-arrival visas for international tourists, as well as training and monitoring.