Negative publicity hits Nepali tourism industry hard

Kathmandu, February 20:

Despite advisories from FCOs ‘advising against all but essential travel to’ of the Foreign and Common Wealth Office (FCO), British nationals who have visited Nepal and are still in Nepal have termed Nepal a safe destination for tourism.

A web page bearing the views of people who have travelled Nepal has urged upon the FCO and British Embassy to review the travel advisories.

Neeraj Shrestha, man behind the vision of the web page said, “we do not deny that we are politically instable and conflict-hit nation but the news reports are exaggerated. Nepal is safe destination for tourists and the main objective of our web page is to present the views of people who have already visited Nepal.”

Nepali tourism industry is tearing apart and people whose only source of income is tourism is being hit hard. The British Embassy has advised ‘against all but essential travel to’ Nepal terming political situation ‘tense’ and ‘unpredictable’ following the local election and also has stated that there is a possibility of further violence and disturbance. However, Nepal is as safe as any other country in the South Asian region.

Tanja M Nikolic, a foreigner who had a nine-week stay in Nepal has posted a message in the web page saying “he had no encounter with Maoists during his stay and also has lamented against the FCO’s inaccurate view of Nepal.

Likewise Maree and Norris who were on a 22-day long Annapurna Circuit tour have stated that they did not feel unsafe and threatened in Nepal.

In recent days the negative publicity has hit the Nepali tourism sector hard.

The reports of violence and instability are exaggerated and it is a serious attempt to tarnish the image of Nepal to sabotage the Nepali economy, they showed serious concerns.