Nepal Reopens Its Heritage Sites

Nepal Reopens Its Heritage Sites

June 15, 2015, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 09 No. -1 June. 12- 2015 (Jestha 29, 2072)

Nepal re-opens its four UNESCO heritage sites; requests US and UK to revise travel advisory

Following almost two months of closer, Earthquake devastated Nepal is gradually coming back to its normal tune. Re-opening of its UNESCO World Heritage Monuments, Nepal has shown that it is expected to bring back its foreign tourist arrival figure to the normal pace through.

Nepal had to close down its four UNESCO world heritage sites. These sites are among the most important tourism attractions of the Himalayan country that is largely dependent on its tourism revenue. The sites were reopened on June 15, this year.

In a program organized by Nepal Tourism Board and Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Nepal finally opens its heritage sites. According to Department of Archeology, Nepal has lost just one third of heritage sites.

“We will start reconstruction of the heritage sites and temples,” Suresh Man Pradhan secretary of the Ministry. “Our priority is now to go for reconstruction and bring back the tourists.”

UNESCO world heritage sites are the main attractions for at least 50 per cent of around seven lakh premium class foreign tourists those who arrive the country through air routes every year. Naturally, closure of these sites became a big blow pulling foreign tourist arrival (numbers) to the bottom (of the chart).  Despite some aftershocks, things are now gradually regaining normalcy now.

“We will come back in the market soon. What is required now is to go aggressive market campaign in different parts of the world. We need to bring back in coming season which will begin in September,” said Binayak Shaha, General Secretary of Hotel Association of Nepal.

But, travel advisories by the US or the UK still remain as the major hurdle for Nepal tourism and Eastern Indian tourism. "The Department of State warns US citizens of the risks of travel to Nepal and recommends that they defer non-essential travel there following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25," states a US travel warning issued at that time.

"Now since things are almost back to normalcy, the largely contributing countries to our foreign tourist arrival count like US or UK may consider reframing their travel advice. It can further brighten the scenario," said Nepal tourism ministry officials.

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