Nepal | June 04, 2020

Give financial support to tourism sector: NTB

Arpana Ale Magar
Share Now:

Kathmandu, May 18

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has recommended the government to provide financial support to the tourism industry for at least three years so that tourism businesses can sustain.

A study conducted recently by NTB has revealed that the government has to support tourism businesses with financial packages as stakeholders are worried about the loans they need to pay back. As per the study, investment worth around Rs 115.38 billion is lying idle in the tourism industry at the moment with outstanding loans worth Rs 54.73 billion as of mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The major demand of the private sector from the government is interest subsidy and among all sectors the hotel industry has been very vocal about it. Currently, there are 129 star-rated hotels, 1,125 tourist standard hotels, 3,508 travel agencies, 2,649 trekking agencies, 77 tourist transportation service companies, 73 rafting agencies and 324 home stay services across the country.

The study has divided the financial support in two categories — fixed cost control and cash refinancing. Towards fixed cost control, the government has to work on bank interest, retention of human resources and rent subsidy for tourism entrepreneurs while towards cash refinancing the government has to look after bank loans at low interest with the help of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).

“Although NRB has asked banks to reduce credit rate by two percentage points, the tourism sector requires more than just that. The central bank also needs to play a role in extending loan repayment period for three years,” the report states.

The study has projected that if the government can implement the aforementioned suggestions, then in the next three years the government will be able to recover 100 per cent revenue that it stands to lose out during the recovery phase from the industry. In fiscal year 2018-19 the government had earned Rs 73.57 billion via foreign exchange.

Issuing a statement on Sunday, the tourism board had recommended the government to establish a job retention fund worth Rs 20 billion to address the issues of tourism workers. As per NTB, around 300,000 workers are currently directly employed in the sector.

It also said that the other sectors have more number of permanent staffers than the trekking and climbing sector. The trekking and climbing sector has 807 permanent workers and 2,166 temporary employees. Meanwhile, the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal has claimed that there are around 700,000 workers working directly and indirectly in the trekking sector and most of them are self-employed.

The NTB survey has also mentioned that most of the firms have sent their workers on leave for cost management. Around 42 per cent employers have resorted to unpaid leave facility as immediate and short-term cost management plan, while 37 per cent have resorted to full or partial salary/benefit reduction. Likewise, 19 per cent firms have terminated the employment of their staff for cost management.

The board has concluded that domestic tourism promotion is the only way for quick recovery of the industry. It had also sent a recommendation to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to implement tourism leave travel for civil servants to promote domestic tourism.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 19, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Brazil

Brazil sets another record for daily coronavirus deaths

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil registered another record number of novel coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said on Tuesday evening, as the pandemic in Latin America's largest country shows no signs of slowing down. The nation registered 28,936 additional cases of the nove Read More...

High-level panel to decide on easing lockdown by tomorrow

KATHMANDU, JUNE 2 The High-Level Coordination Committee for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 formed under Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence Ishwar Pokharel will decide in a day or two whether or not to ease the lockdown. Member Secretary of the committee Narayan Prasad Bi Read More...

FIFA adds voice to protests over Floyd's death

BERN: World soccer's governing body FIFA has joined sports leagues, teams and players around the globe to express solidarity amid outrage over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed in police custody in the United States. The National Football League, National Hockey League an Read More...

Nepal's ruling party stresses dialogue with India to resolve territorial dispute 

Kathmandu, June 2  Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Narayan Kaji Shrestha urged India to sit for dialogue with Nepal to resolve Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani issues. He welcomed Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's remark about resolving border disputes with Nepal through dia Read More...

Nepali Congress registers statute amendment bill 

Kathmandu, June 2 The main opposition Nepali Congress today registered a private constitution amendment bill at the Parliament Secretariat seeking to change the constitution's provisions related to citizenship, language, provincial boundaries and formation of a boundary commission. Eight Nepal Read More...

Dhangadi  quarantine

Quarantines in Sudurpaschim bursting at seams 

Dhangadhi, June 2  With the increasing number of returnees from India, the quarantine facilities in Sudupaschim Province are almost packed. The number of migrant workers returning home from India is increasing every day. According to Kailali District Administration Office, around 5,000 Read More...

Nine businessmen held for gambling, remanded to custody 

Kathmandu, June 2 Nine businessmen, some of whom are ‘well-known faces’ in the business fraternity, were sent to five-day police custody after being arrested from a gambling den last night. Deputy Superintendent of Police Raj Kumar KC, also the spokesperson for Metropolitan Police Range,  Read More...

PCR tests of all quarantined persons fraught with problems 

Kathmandu, June 2  The Ministry of Health and Population said that implementing the Supreme Court’s order to conduct tests for coronavirus on all quarantined persons across the country using polymerase chain reaction method was a daunting task. Earlier, the Supreme Court had issued an order Read More...