Tourists flow gradually picking up in post-quake Nepal
10th Sep, 2016 | Tourism Mail Crew
[caption id="attachment_298" align="alignleft" width="124"] Bhawani Dulal (Sara)[/caption]
Nepal is a country blessed with the nature’s bounty. The country is replete in jungles, rivers, lakes, hills, the Himalayan range and historic temples built in various structures of pagoda and shikhara style.
The richness in culture, religion and historic cultural heritages along with the splendor of the unrivalled woodcrafts is a manifestation of Nepal’s diverse artistic property.
Foreign tourists are attracted by the peculiar woodcraft, temples, archeological sites and the majestic Himalayas. The tourists have shared that they are captivated by the Nepalese culture, tradition, rituals, different ethnic dresses and dances.
Hundreds of tourists are seen thronging the UNESECO world heritage sites within the Kathmandu Valley and outside. The Kathmandu Valley is home to legendary culture with three ancient durbar squares (palace complexes), two famous Buddhist stupas, two revered Hindu shrines whereas outside the valley tourists are drawn to Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, national parks and of course the highest peak in the world, Mt. Everest.
The UNESCO enlisted two cultural sites and two natural heritages as the world heritage sites in 1979. It includes Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple, Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath, Changu Narayan within Kathmandu Valley world heritage site, and Lumbini, Chitwan National Park (CNP) and Sagarmatha National Park (Mt Everest region).
The massive 7.6 Richter scale earthquake which struck Nepal on April 25, 2015 inflicted considerable damages to these world heritage sites, particularly within Kathmandu Valley. The damage that was initially reported in the media outlets exacerbated the actual losses to the heritage sites. The tourists that have visited Nepal in the post-quake scenario have been quick to refute such claims of extensive damages. Many temples and cultural heritages are still standing whereas some temples have collapsed.
Many cultural heritage sites are being propped up with poles for support and the reconstruction process has been painstakingly slow. The other natural and cultural heritages outside of the valley are fully intact however, and tourists are equally attracted to them as well.
As per the data available with Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), a total of 554, 747 tourists have arrived in Nepal as of now this year. In 2014, a total of 790,118 tourists had visited Nepal. The bookings in the hotels have fallen drastically this season with many tourism entrepreneurs uncertain when the tourism industry would bounce back to its old glory.
More than one and a half year has gone by since the quake jolted Nepal. The tourists are gradually arriving in the country with the diminishing fear of another quake as the country slowly rises from a deep set back.