The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that rattled Nepal on 25 April, 2015 has made a major impact on the dynamics of various sectors of the country, including tourism. Tourist numbers are down by about 90%, bookings are being cancelled, and some of the tourism monuments and attractions have been fully or partially damaged. This will have further implications on the jobs and the revenue that the sector is providing to the country. The sheer amount of recovery effort required to rebuild destinations and gain visitors’ confidence stands at billions, even with the provisional estimates.
Post-quake, health and safety surfaces as a critical issue on destination image, not just as safety hazards from the monuments/ buildings around heritage sites but also in terms of safety issues in the trekking areas - with possible threats from avalanches and landslides.
The Samarth-NMDP tourism portfolio thus has revisited its interventions with a three pronged strategy to support recovery, redevelopment and repositioning of Nepal, in alignment with government and private sector priorities. At the recovery phase, the programme will support independent assessment of unaffected areas through third party certification and development of communication platform - aiming industry and clients. At the recovery phase, it aims to introduce Safe Trekking System that will ultimately help reposition Nepal as a safe and secure destination among international visitors.