Even though there is no significant number of COVID-19 infection cases in Nepal, the deadly virus has not ceased to threaten the nation’s tourism industry.
The Nepali tourism industry has received a serious blow with the suspension of all the mountain climbing activities for the upcoming 2020 spring season.
With the suspension of climbing permits, it is inevitable for the Nepali Government to lose revenue worth nearly NPR 600 million in 2020, including around NPR 500 million in the spring season alone.
According to the Nepali Tourism Department, around NPR 560 million worth revenue was collected as mountaineering royalty in all seasons in 2019, including NPR 496.8 million in spring season alone.
Mount Everest alone was responsible for NPR 442.3 million worth revenue in 2019.[MUST READ: Coronavirus in Nepal: Overview, Symptoms and Precautions]
A total of 918 climbers had taken climbing permits for Mount Everest in 2019 spring season. Around 644 climbers successfully summitted the world’s highest peak.
The foreign climbers are supposed to pay a mountaineering royalty of USD 11,000 for climbing Mount Everest in the spring season, USD 5,500 in the autumn season and USD 2,750 in the summer season.
Whereas, the Nepali climbers should pay NPR 75,000 in the spring season, NPR 37,500 in the autumn season and NPR 18,250 in the summer season.
Hoping that the ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ campaign will attract 2 million foreign tourists, the Nepali Tourism Department has aimed at collecting NPR 600 million from mountaineering activities.[MUST READ: Canceled ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ campaign]
However, the COVID-19 outbreak has swept away all the goals of the tourism industry.
The Nepali Government has suspended all the permits for mountaineering expeditions issued and to be issued for spring 2020.[MUST READ: Suspended visa to all foreigners and Non-Resident Nepalis]
So far, coronavirus has spread to around 157 countries infecting 169,610 people and killing 6,518. China, the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak, has reported 80,860 infection cases and 3,213 death cases.
Italy, Iran, Spain, France, South Korea are the countries outside China that are majorly affected by the deadly virus.