The coronavirus pandemic has incurred loss to every business in Nepal due to the nationwide lockdown since March 24, 2020.
However, the tourism industry has taken a severe hit from the pandemic among other business sectors.
The global travel restrictions and suspension of international flights have nullified the tourist influx in the country, thereby hampering the tourism sector.
Nepal’s tourism and aviation sector has incurred an estimated loss of NPR 41 billion since the country went into lockdown. The sector has incurred an average loss of NPR 10 billion per month since March.
In view of huge loss, the tourism entrepreneurs have urged the Nepali Government for a 50% waiver on their electricity bills.
On July 24, a COVID-19 Tourism Business Disaster Coordination Committee of tourism entrepreneurs has submitted a memorandum to the Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barshaman Pun, asking for the exemption.
The tourism entrepreneurs have complained that they are obliged to pay the demand charge to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) even though they have not been operating since the lockdown enforcement.
“We are required to pay the amount despite being unable to use the service, which has posed a problem to our financials. We request the authorities concerned to exempt the businesses of the demand charge and allow us to pay the amount as per the unit used,” the committee said in a statement.
The committee has urged the Nepali Government to provide a 50% discount on electricity bills from the lockdown enforcement to at least two years.
“The government is positive about our proposal, and the minister validated our concern,” said Bhabishwar Sharma, Vice President at Thamel Tourism Development Council (TTDC).
The Tourism Organizations in the Committee include-
Meanwhile, the hotels, restaurants and travel agencies are set to resume business from July 30 as the Nepali government has lifted the nationwide lockdown on July 21.
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