A severe earthquake had hit Nepal in 2015 and with the loss of life and property, the tourism industry was affected extremely. In this context, the purpose of this report is to identify the government initiatives and the gaps that must be filled up. In this regard, the report also encompasses the policy planning and the stakeholders’ engagement so that the country can take proper initiatives in dire situation. Finally the report concludes with a validation statement that portrays vitality and effectiveness of the recommended measures.
On April 25 and May 12 earthquakes struck the Central Nepal that caused severe effect on not only the animals and humans but also damaged the Nepal tourism in a great deal of manner. The devastating earthquake hit the floor and as a result of that the heritage sites and temples were reduced to dust. The tremor was measured 7.8 on the Richter scale that took out a death toll of 9,000 people and injured 22,000 (Sarkar 2015). Several million people lost their homes and month of food crisis created a debacle in Nepal. There are multiple media report and government accounts that corroborated the fact that due to food crisis, shortage of energy supplies and damage of infrastructure led the country into the verge of a collapse. Indeed, tourism which is one of the major contributors of Nepalese tourism became affected so badly that the GDP of the country decreased in a rapid pace. According to Singh Khadka (2015) the following years after the earthquake the number of foreign visitors was also reduced at an extensive manner that where in 2014 the amount of visitors was 790,000 the following year it amounted almost a third with estimation of 530,000 visitors. In fact, Kathmandu was one of the most affected areas where thousands of households destroyed. Durbar Square which was one of the UNESCO Heritage sites and full of ancient temples and wealth bulldozed by the huge tremoring (Bennett 2016).
It can be stated that the Nepalese tourism is contributed the most in the economy of the country. As per the government report, it can be argued that the Nepalese tourism witnessed 17.1% from India, 11.1% from China and 8.4% from US (Ghimire 2018). The highest number of arrival is observed in the month of October and followed by February. As a matter of fact, it can be identified that there is no such gender differences among the visitors coming in Nepal. In compare to the female percentage the percentage of male arrival was 54% by 2017 (Kathmandupost.ekantipur.com 2018). In addition to this, the age category is primarily dominated by the visitors of an age from 16 to 45. As per the report of the Nepalese tourism sector it can be stated that nearly two third of the arrivals were belonged to the age of 16-45 (74%) as per the year 2017 (Carswell 2017). This can be identified as a growth of 25% in the visitors in compare to the year 2016. This report proved that the Nepal tourism is growing in a stable way and the government initiatives are played pivotal role in the process.
As per the visiting spots are concerned, the Nepal government and tourism board offered a number of tourist destinations that are beautiful and adventurers and at the same time costs very low. Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal is one of the tourist attractions in Nepal. The Durbar Square is the most popular place in Kathmandu and also recognised by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage sites (Chmutina et al. 2017). Besides this, the Nepal tourism is popular for its trekking and mountaineering activities. Mount Everest, the world’s largest mountain peak lies here that generates thrill and adventure to most of the travellers. In fact, climbing Everest is considered to be a dream for the mountaineers across the world and in the seasons of March to May and September to December are the peak seasons for Everest climbing (Lee 2016).
There are several numbers of legislative and regulatory frameworks in Nepal tourism that are committed to develop a better framework for the sustainability of the tourism business. As far as the government initiatives are concerned, the authority is more likely to establish a disaster risk reduction framework to combat with the natural disaster like earthquake. There are multitude of involvement of both government and non-government agencies to combat with the natural disaster. Ministry of Home Affairs in association of the Ministry of Federal Affairsand Local Development plays a key role in this response to act pro-actively during the natural calamities such as floods, landslide, windstorms and earthquake (Soden and Palen 2016). As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Urban Development also provides ample of assistance to the cause of the disaster preparedness (Dizhur et al. 2015). There are a number of acts and regulations associated with this means. As per the Natural Relief Act of 1982 it can be argued that the purpose of this act is to cooperate with the national and local authorities in order to combat with the natural disasters. Furthermore, the act also provisions about a framework of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council so that the government is able to protect the public life, properties, cultural heritage and minimising the disaster risk (Daly et al. 2017). However, the earthquake of 2015 proved that it was not adequate to follow such framework as the Nepal government failed to take necessary steps to protect Nepal. As a result of that the country faced severe challenges and the earthquake literally ransacked the region entirely. It can be advocated that there are a number of foreign aid and assistance that the Nepal government got after the earthquake but that did not approve the efficiency of the Disaster Risk Management and Disaster Risk Reduction policies that the Nepal government has followed (Oven et al. 2016). In fact, there are huge gaps in the policy and framework that the Nepal government has followed and therefore the death toll increases in a sporadic manner.
In order to maintain a better and effective disaster management policy for not only secure the life of the people but also continue the commercial activities such as tourism there are some policy objectives on which the Nepalese government must put focus on. Therefore, the objectives are,
Foreign agencies and government
The role of the foreign agencies or the NGOs is to cooperate with the Nepal government to make proper planning regarding the disaster management. Moreover, the foreign governments can also aid financially and materialistically to the Nepal government in case of the natural disasters.
Royal Nepalese army
Army played a huge role in the rescue and disaster operations. It can be argued that in many cases where the civilians and disaster management members are failed to rescue the civilians. Army has the training and the tools that can be utilised in course of disaster management.
Primarily the Ministry of Home Affairs, Disaster and Risk management department and the Finance Ministry is responsible to assess the intensity of the disaster and evaluate the damages both in terms of life and wealth.
The tourism industries can create awareness among both the citizens and the foreign visitors and provide them proper instructions regarding the disaster management.
Tourists and common people
It is also important take tourists and common people under considerations in order to combat with the natural disasters and prevent further loss of life and stock.
The Nepal government has initiated some risk and disaster management measures with the help of international agencies and NGOs. This framework encapsulates a number of stakeholders from the government agencies to the private tourism companies as well in order to establish a better communication and cooperation among all. Moreover, in course of procuring the new mechanism some technological measures should be implemented and the government also keeps an eye on it. It can be argued that the purpose of the government is to do any means to ensure safety of the people and safeguarding the interests of the tourism industry for the betterment of the country.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the report not only dealt with the Nepal disaster and its fatal consequences on human life but also widen up the discussion to illustrate the adverse impact of the natural disaster on the Nepal tourism as well. As a matter of fact, the report also developed policy draft to deal with the devastation. In this point of view the report is highly relevant and pragmatic to reduce further loss of lives and stock in Nepal as well as will be able to retain its excellence in tourism.
Bennett, J. 2016. Nepal's tourism industry lagging behind a year after quakes. [online] ABC News. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-25/nepals-tourism-industry-lagging-behind-a-year-from-quakes/7354282 [Accessed 6 Oct. 2018].
Carswell, H. (2017). After the quake – how Nepal's tourist industry is bouncing back. [online] The Independent. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/asia/nepal-earthquake-tourist-industry-bouncing-back-a7688611.html [Accessed 6 Oct. 2018].
Chmutina, K., Rose, J., Shrestha, S.D. and Bhatta, D., 2017. Pathways to raising disaster risk reduction awareness among the informal construction stakeholders: a case of Nepal.
Daly, P., Ninglekhu, S., Hollenbach, P., DuyneBarenstein, J. and Nguyen, D., 2017. Situating local stakeholders within national disaster governance structures: rebuilding urban neighborhoods following the 2015 Nepal earthquake. Environment and Urbanization, 29(2), pp.403-424.
Dizhur, D., Ingham, J., Griffith, M., Biggs, D. and Schultz, A., 2016. Performance of unreinforced masonry and infilled RC buildings during the 2015 Gorkha, Nepal earthquake sequence. In Brick and Block Masonry: Proceedings of the 16th International Brick and Block Masonry Conference.
Ghimire, D. 2018. [online] Tourism.gov.np. Available at: https://tourism.gov.np/files/statistics/2.pdf [Accessed 6 Oct. 2018].
Kathmandupost.ekantipur.com 2018. Tourist arrivals in Nepal jumped 73.5 percent in July. [online] Kathmandupost.ekantipur.com. Available at: https://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2018-08-19/tourist-arrivals-in-nepal-jumped-735-percent-in-july.html [Accessed 6 Oct. 2018].
Lee, A.C.K., 2016. Barriers to evidence-based disaster management in Nepal: a qualitative study. Public health, 133, pp.99-106.
Oven, K.J., Milledge, D.G., Densmore, A.L., Jones, H., Sargeant, S. and Datta, A., 2016. Earthquake science in DRR policy and practice in Nepal.
Sarkar, D. 2015. Nepal earthquake starts hitting tourism in Indian Himalayan destinations. [online] The Economic Times. Available at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/travel/nepal-earthquake-starts-hitting-tourism-in-indian-himalayan-destinations/articleshow/47071443.cms [Accessed 6 Oct. 2018].
Singh Khadka, N. 2015. Nepal seeks expert advice on tourism. [online] BBC News. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32889294 [Accessed 6 Oct. 2018].
Soden, R. and Palen, L., 2016, May. Infrastructure in the wild: What mapping in post-earthquake Nepal reveals about infrastructural emergence. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2796-2807). ACM.
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