A threatening shadow over tourism – The Himalayan Times – Nepal’s No.1 English Daily Newspaper


The Omicron, the latest variant of COVID-19, casts a worrying shadow over the international tourism industry. It will be a long time before tourism becomes itself again.

Thailand, which is said to have welcomed 40 million tourists in 2019 with revenues peaking at $ 59 billion, forecast a fraction of arrivals and revenues for 2022. Now that Omicron travels across countries at supersonic speed, he’s in the limelight. crossroads like any other tourist destination.

The international media are delighted with tourism news and its potential for recovery. A few days ago, EMEA President Satya Anand of Marriott International was on France 24 Channel TV to give a long overview down the risky road to the future of tourism. The new “1 800 billion euros of loss in tourism in 2021” paraded during the program.

Earlier, I watched a panel discussion on tourism under the clouds of the new COVID-19 variant on Zee Business. Subhas Goyal, advisor to the Ministry of Tourism, was the most vocal.

Its STIC Travel has been instrumental in promoting tourism not only in India but also in Nepal. His company was GSA and PSA for our national carrier in India.

During the televised panel discussion, Goyal informed that COV-ID had hit the Indian tourism industry which once generated US $ 30 billion. Before the onslaught of the pandemic, tourism contributed nearly 6.87% to India’s GDP and 8.23% to the labor market.

The contributions of the other two panelists were minimal. A certain Dr Rawat from the government COVID-19 team has given the official voice on the precondition for opening up tourism. He spoke of a 14-day quarantine across the country.

Goyal answered why it was necessary to put tourists who had taken two or more vaccines in extended quarantine.

He estimated that hospitals in India could take care of tourists who experience COVID weather. Although an adviser to the government, his voice is still that of the private trader. But the discussion hammered home the importance of tourism for the Indian economy. Such public debates will force the government to listen and find practical solutions.

We in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal need to have meaningful dialogues and discussions on reviving tourism in the face of the Omicron variant. The good news is that despite the uncertainty, new hotels of different sizes and shapes are springing up across the country. The resumption of tourism in Nepal will depend on local tourists, provided the government can keep the pandemic at bay.

Still, we need brainstorming and firefighting to search for a big pie from the international tourism industry when COV-ID-19 recedes.

A version of this article appears in the December 10, 2021 print of The Himalayan Times.


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