Kathmandu, April 25
If the potential of tourism industry is to be tapped fully, it could be a major employment generator in the country, as per a recent study.
Tourism industry has provided employment for a total of 138,148 individuals — 87,980 regular and 50,168 seasonal — in the country. The ‘Tourism Employment Survey’ commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has revealed that trekking agencies are the largest job providers in the tourism industry. Trekking agencies have provided jobs for 50,004 individuals — 9,958 regular and 40,046 seasonal, according to the survey. There are around 1,636 trekking agencies in operation in the country.
Based on the sample gathered from 192 tourism-related firms of all sectors, like hotels, home stays, trekking agencies, travel agencies, airlines, among others, the ministry has calculated the total employment generated by the tourism industry.
In terms of regular employment generation, tourist standard hotels topped the list by providing employment for 23,566 individuals. In addition, the tourist standard hotels created 3,242 seasonal jobs.
Similarly, travel agency sector stood in the third position in terms of job creation, employing a total of 25,238 individuals — 20,170 regular and 5,069 seasonal, as per the survey. The number of tourist standard hotels and travel agencies across the country stands at 625 and 2,112, respectively, as per the survey.
Altogether 105 star hotels in the country have provided jobs for 13,459 people, followed by international airlines. International airlines have employed 12,822 individuals on a regular basis. Apart from this, domestic airlines also created jobs for around 5,903 people.
Home stay is another major emerging sector in terms of employment generation. The survey has estimated around 2,738 people have found employment through 226 registered home stays in the country. Out of 2,738, 1,784 are employed regularly and rest are seasonal employees. Home stays have created more jobs for female — 57 per cent — against the average 20 per cent in the entire tourism industry.
The survey has also revealed that around five per cent of tourism personnel are self-employed and 95 per cent are employees.
Likewise, as per the survey, rafting sector and paragliding/ultra-light flights sub-sectors have created 735 and 440 jobs, respectively.
As per the estimation of the ministry, around six Nepalis get employment from the arrival of one tourist in the country. The ministry has made this speculation based on the tourists’ arrival in fiscal 2013-14, when a total of 797,616 tourists visited Nepal. Currently, the average tourist stay in the country is 12.8 days and a tourist spends around $70 per day in the country.
Foreign exchange earnings from tourism sector contribute around three per cent to the country’s gross domestic product. The expansion of the tourism industry has a significant contribution in employment generation, that is composed of both self-employed and employees, said the survey.
A version of this article appears in print on April 26, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.