One of the hardest-hit segments due to the pandemic is the tourism sector, and the tourism stakeholders are expecting to have their demands addressed through the upcoming fiscal budget 2020-21. Nepal is beginning to face the most unexpected socio-economic damage due to the flare-up of coronavirus pandemic. On May 31, the Nepal government has extended the nationwide lockdown till June 14 as the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases rises over 1,400.
Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) expressed that plans for the next financial year are analyzing the impact of the virus and practically all of them were referenced in the programs and policies, so the budget plan won’t have anything extra. However, the ministry will carry projects to recuperate the losses due to pandemic in the travel industry.
On Thursday, the Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada will introduce the budget 2020-21 in Parliament amid a large number of difficulties as the nation faces a monetary crisis that has never been experienced before. Financial experts say the most important task for the budget will be to counter the economic slowdown.
Regardless of whether the Lockdown is gradually lifted, the international travel might remain on halted for some time because of the ascent in covid-19 cases. As of now, the whole service industries: hotels, travel, restaurants, and the aviation sector have declined from 70 percent to 10 percent amid pandemic.
The tourism sector, being one of the biggest industries has been contributing 8 percent to Nepal’s economy. The cancellation of mountaineering expeditions, including climbing Everest that has brought about job loss of around 13,000 mountain guides, tours, and trekking programs.
In the meantime, the finance minister has stated that the budget for the next financial year will be prepared mainly for infrastructure development. For the next financial year, the ministry has plans to build a domestic airport and Nijgadh International Airport.
Rudra Singh Tamang, a representative for the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation expressed, The ministry is additionally deciding to construct resorts and hotels in hill stations with full tourist facilities.
However, the visit Nepal 2020 campaign in Jan got dropped due to the virus outbreak which was going to attract two million visitors. It hurt the tourism-related business sector badly. Experts say we are yet to encounter the full impact and aftermath of the Covid-19 disease. It’s uncertain whether the tourism sector will be able to revive from the damages the pandemic has originated.