Dashain is the peak-time for domestic tourism in Nepal. This is when city-dwellers return to their hometowns or go on vacation. This year, Dashain comes with a hope of revival for the tourism sector post-pandemic.
This is not just the season for festivals and holidays, October and November also offer the perfect weather for trekking, the most exciting activity for tourists in Nepal.
Tourism, as an industry that entirely depends on people’s movement, was heavily affected by the pandemic. Our trekking areas were almost entirely reliant on foreign trekkers and travelers who came to explore Nepali hills and mountains.
Now that the government has lifted quarantine restrictions, we will be promoting domestic tourism as the first step towards the sector’s recovery.
This Dashain, we plan to roll out new packages to attract Nepali travelers to locations away from mainstream travel destinations. After being stuck within our homes for a while, we are looking for new experiences. We in the tourism industry plan on introducing activities such as bungee jumping, paragliding, rafting, and more in various parts of the country.
We are yet to fully explore the potential of domestic tourism compared to our neighboring countries. In times like these when domestic tourism is the key to the industry's revival, we are trying to give Nepalis a good taste of their own country. Promotion of domestic tourism will also encourage property and infrastructure development in more places.
During the pandemic there were many international surveys on destinations people wanted to visit post-pandemic. Most people chose a nature-based destination, isolation-based activity, and less crowded areas as they are concerned about their safety. More than 90 percent of Nepal’s tourist welcoming locations are based on nature, with activities such as paragliding, climbing, rafting, and bungee jumping done in small groups.
With such a possibility, if our plans are properly executed, we could be one of the few countries that quickly bounces back.
Over the years, along with the country’s pristine natural beauty, it is our people that have won the heart of the world. International travelers come to visit a place and leave appreciating the warmth of the people they meet. With the eventual re-opening of the industry, employment opportunities will revive as well.
Two things we need to be mindful of and improve on are effective coordination for sound preparations of destinations and proper communication in the source markets.
Restaurants and hotels will also boom with more customers as people start traveling again. They are constantly improving their services while implementing necessary safety measures.
I am optimistic that the travel sector will flourish in the next couple of months if we do things right and if the environment is favorable. Along with developing domestic tourism, I’m also hopeful that with the new travel policies, international travelers will begin to come this season.
I believe by 2022 we can welcome a sizable number of foreign tourists and travelers.