Variety

Travel travails: Nepal seen losing $240 m as tourists cancel bookings

Navadha Pandey New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on April 27, 2015

nepal-tourism



With the recent earthquake causing loss of life and property in Nepal, the tourism industry will also witness a setback in the affordable summer destination. According to an estimate, the tourism industry may lose $240 million.

Major destination

“We have received calls to cancel almost 90 per cent of close to 1,000 bookings to Nepal,” Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra.com, said, adding, only people with families in Nepal have requested for bookings.

Nepal has seen significant growth in travel, especially from India. It is one of the major destinations for Indians and is quite popular especially amongst adventure travellers from Europe and US. Ranjeet Oak, Chief Business Officer-Holidays, MakeMyTrip, said, “Holiday bookings for Nepal have witnessed a surge in the last 12 months and we have seen a year-on-year growth of 100 per cent in people booking Nepal packages through us.”

Nepal contributed to about 3 per cent of MakeMyTrip’s total holiday capacity last year and the portal saw an increase to about 6 per cent this year.

The country is a destination for white-water rafting, paragliding and trips to the Mount Everest Base Camp, which makes it a favourite with adventure enthusiasts across the world. The average Indian traveller spends about 4-5 nights in Nepal, Dhall said, adding that an average night in Nepal would cost a traveller upwards of ₹2,500 per person.

Business wise

Shiju Radhakrishnan, Founder and CEO, Itraveller.com, said, “Around 6 lakh people are directly dependent on this industry in Nepal. Every summer, Nepal generates $0.4 billion worth of business. Most of it comes through Himalayan tours and Everest climbing expeditions. Both these have been severely affected. Even if we consider 60 per cent of the above figure as a loss to Nepal exchequer, it is close to $240 million loss, which is quite substantial for a small nation like Nepal.”

Published on April 27, 2015
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