Various umbrella organisations related to tourism have demanded COVID vaccines for entrepreneurs, employees, and staffers deputed on the frontline at tourism destinations within 30 days.

Issuing a joint press release last evening, tourism-related organisations urged the government to open the tourism sector by taking initiative to create trustworthy environment in the international tourism sector and provide vaccines all the citizens at the earliest for the revival of tourism business hit hard by the pandemic.

They also demanded immediate implementation of policy and programme related to tourism announced in the budget of the current fiscal 2020-21 and arrangement of vaccines for tourists visiting Nepal. They urged the government to ensure that tourists are inoculated with full dose of vaccine against coronavirus so that they do not require to stay in quarantine.

They also demanded that the government to make arrangement of PCR testing at airport and other entry points.

Similarly, tourism-related organisations sought the implementation of free-visa immediately to implement 'visa on-arrival' system in an easy manner through online visa service system in a bid to encourage tourists to visit Nepal only through hotels/agents.

The joint press statement also asked the government to make arrangement of nationwide training and monitoring mechanism to make the health safety protocol implementation effective, ensure representation of chair of main umbrella organisations related to tourism in the CCMC and make arrangement of separate embossed number plates for tourism related vehicles. Chair of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal Khum Bahadur Subedi said arrangement should be made with minimum authorised capital worth Rs 2.5 million without any collateral at zero per cent interest in order to sustain businesses such as trekking, tour and rafting.

"Loan should be provided to tourism transport entrepreneurs at three per cent interest rate and tax and fines on vehicle inspection and pollution tests should be waived for a year," said Tourists Bus Association of Nepal Chair Ishwor Sharma.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 12 2021, of The Himalayan Times.