Nepal suffered grievously from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed almost 9,000 people on 25 April 2015.
Donors have pledged about $4.4 billion to rebuild the country, half being grants and the other half, loans. India, China and the Asian Development Bank have taken the lead and the United Kingdom has offered $110 million.
While 8.1 million people require humanitarian support and 1.9 million, food assistance, two months later, it seems that tourism to Nepal is resurgent.
Things are looking up
In July, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom lifted their edicts advising citizens against all but essential travel to Nepal, which had reduced bookings.
Tourist numbers were down by 90 per cent shortly after the quake, with travel insurance being one problem: 10 adventure travel insurance agents do not currently cover Nepal, although the British Mountaineering Council does, on a case-by-case basis for travel to the worst-hit areas.
Assurances from the Nepali government could improve the situation further.
How bad was it?
Only five of Nepal’s 75 districts were strongly affected by the earthquake: Dhading, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Sindupalchowk.
Nepal is famed for its nature, and only one of the 10 National Parks has been damaged – Sagarmatha National Park. Airports, highways and subways were unaffected.
Only three of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites were damaged. Chitwan National Park, Lumbini and Pasupatinath Temple are still quite upright.
Only two of the 35 premier trekking routes suffered – the Langtang Valley trek and the Manaslu region trek.
Hospitals mostly remain open and mobile clinics have been dispatched to communities where this is not the case. More than 90 per cent of hotels have been “green flagged” after being surveyed by engineers at the behest of the Nepali government – they’re structurally sound.
Electricity, phone lines and the all-important internet are in good order. Considering how frightful was its earthquake, Nepal is resurgent.
Tourism, Nepal’s largest industry, rakes in $1.6 billion a year to this very poor country which also recently experienced a decade-long insurgency. Half a million people are thus employed, with over half being female. 60 per cent of people come for the culture and wildlife while the remainder are trekkers.
Come to Nepal
Nepal is resurgent and a very attractive prospect. Fahim Rahim of Pocatello, Idaho, has visited twice since the earthquake.
He posted to Faceache: “You will arrive as friends but you will leave as a family once you visit Nepal.” Mark Whitman of Kandoo reported, “We’re in touch with our ground teams daily and are confident the country will be ready for tourists again come the Autumn trekking season. The best way to assist the country is to visit it.”