Impact: Nepal is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, with millions of people visiting each year. Tourism contributes nearly 8% to Nepal’s GDP, making it one of the largest economic sectors. The global COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted this industry due to the suspension of foreign tourist arrivals. This has resulted in widespread unemployment in many Nepalese tourism industries including trekking, aviation, mountaineering, and hospitality, resulting in a loss of over 10,000 jobs. Nepal was set to launch a nationwide Visit Nepal 2020 campaign with aspirations of attracting two million tourists, but which was later cancelled due to the pandemic. This impact on tourism is only one of the many sectors that is being hit hard by the pandemic, which has caused a major setback to the economy of the country.
For this tourism-dependent country, a strong mechanism is required to recover and sustain this industry. The actions taken by authorities, airlines, hospitality businesses, hoteliers, trekking agencies, and mountaineering agencies will determine how Nepal recovers and what pathway it takes to repair its tourism industry.