Government of Nepal has recently waived the mandatory requirement of negative PCR Test Report for fully vaccinated passengers traveling to Nepal. So, now onwards, fully vaccinated passengers are not required to submit negative PCR report at the immigration desk to get entry in the country. However, the passengers should carry their vaccination card that verifies full dose vaccination with validity of having 15 days lapsed after both doses. The passengers who do not have the vaccination certificate have to submit the negative report of Covid-19 Test (RTPCR, True NAAT, Gene Xpert) within 72 hours of starting their journey. The passengers travelling from Nepal are required to have health related documents as per the rules of the destination country. This new rule of PCR Test waiving is taken as a welcoming gesture by the tourism community.
Following the third wave of COVID-19 that started from January 2022, Nepal Government had imposed restrictions for travelers to minimize the spread of the virus. With the infected cases dropping down significantly to two digits with no death cases, Government of Nepal has eased restrictions in many sectors, including the travel sector. This recent step is taken with an objective to revive the tourism industry in Nepal, which is the most hard-hit sector during the two years of pandemic. To uplift the industry, the Government also formed National Tourism Revival Committee in collaboration with private and public sectors in February. The Committee, together with the government, is now working for destination promotion, marketing, policy reforms, infrastructure upgrade and skills development.
Since, things are slowly turning hopeful, we are also optimistic that the initiatives from both public and private sectors will help for the rapid and responsible recovery of the travelling industry. Hope to see you soon!
Nepal Government has recently revised its travel guidelines and set new entry protocols for the people who wish to travel to Nepal. Now, fully-vaccinated travelers can get on arrival visa and don’t need to follow seven-day quarantine rule, which means they can start their travel right after their entry! The latest update is as follows:
1. There is no quarantine rule for fully vaccinated travelers, but they need to make sure that they have received their last dose at least 14 days before they enter Nepal.
2. On arrival visa service has resumed for fully vaccinated travelers. They need to present the following documents at immigration desk:
✔️ Vaccination Certificate (WHO approved vaccines)
✔️ RT-PCR negative test issued within 72 hours or less before first flight
✔️ Proof of hotel booking
✔️ Print copy of filled International Online Arrival Form available at CCMC website (https://ccmc.gov.np/arms/person_add_en.php)
✔️ Permit copy of mountaineering or trekking
3. There is no on arrival visa provision for non-vaccinated or semi-vaccinated travelers. They need to have prior visa from Nepalese Diplomatic missions in their respective countries.
4. Non-vaccinated or semi-vaccinated travelers need to stay 10 days in quarantine at their own cost in the hotels designated by Nepal Government. https://ccmc.gov.np/arms/attachments/Quarantine_HotelsList_Recent.pdf . On the 11th day, they need to have PCR negative report to continue their travel.
5. Upon arrival, non-vaccinated or semi-vaccinated travelers need to present all the documents specified in no. 2 (except vaccination certificate), plus proof of quarantine hotel booking and recommendation letter from travel/trekking/tour agency in Nepal.
6. Vaccination is not mandatory for children below 5 years and age group of 5 – 18 years old but PCR negative report is compulsory for the age group of 5 – 18 years old.
7. Travelers leaving Nepal should present PCR negative report issued within 48 hours or less before the flight and also fill CCMC Departure Form available at https://ccmc.gov.np/atms/person_add_atms_en.php
So, now it is possible to travel to Nepal. Though, there are still some travel restrictions with new entry protocols, if you abide by the rules, travelling in Nepal will not be a hassle. Once you are in Nepal, make sure you follow the protocols of local destinations as well. Don’t stress too much about your safety as Government is launching inoculation campaign more aggressively. More than 21% of the total population is fully vaccinated with 26% already receiving their first dose. As tourism professionals belong to the prioritized frontline groups, above 95% of the tourism workers have been fully vaccinated by now (97% in Khumbu and Mustang region).
At Explore Himalaya also, almost all the office and field staffs are fully vaccinated. As there is some silver lining finally, we are now trying to go with V2V (vaccinated to vaccinated) service approach, which is the best thing to do as of now. We ensure our travelers that we will follow all the health and safety measures strictly during all our operations. This autumn, we are preparing more than ever to make our visitors feel welcomed and safe.
COVID-19, a virus that was first detected in Wuhan of China in late 2019, has put the entire world in uncertainty and chaos. The challenges faced by people during covid-19 crisis is uncontestable. This global pandemic has become one of most notable crises to challenge the health sector, economic sector and wellbeing of people all over the world. With the passing of almost one and half year since the virus was first detected, the world is still crippling, with the onset of second wave in different parts of the world.
Tourism industry is one of the major sectors that has been deeply affected by this deadly pandemic. The overwhelming impact caused by this virus on almost every part of global tourism is a burning issue now. Many governments have imposed severe and strict measures to stop the spread of this deadly virus which includes borders and airway closures along with lockdowns and countless travel restrictions that directly have affected the tourism industry, which in turn is causing a great economic downturn.
Tourism not only provides high volume of jobs for low skilled workers, together with high skilled jobs but it also generates foreign exchange, and drives regional and local development. The travel restrictions affected every sector of tourism, from hotels, or other types of accommodations, restaurants, museums, to small scale tourism businesses. The unprecedented effects on tourism jobs and business has led to near-complete cessation of tourism activities around the world.
There have been massive cancellation of hotels and tourist bookings followed by widespread unemployment, loss of income and threatened livelihoods for millions of people from every corner of the world. According to WTTC, The Travel & Tourism sector has suffered a loss of around 4.7 trillion US dollar in 2020, with the contribution to GDP dropping by a lurching 49.1% compared to 2019. The highest tourist generating countries like Costa Rica, France, USA, Greece, Morocco, Portugal, and Thailand are among the hardest hit with losses in tourism exceeding 3 percent loss in national GDP.
The consequences of COVID-19 in low and middle income countries like Nepal which rely on small number of service industries are deeply worrying. Without exception, like all the countries of the world, tourism of Nepal has also been decimated by this global pandemic. Around 2,00,000 people who are directly employed in hotel, restaurants, trekking, mountaineering, airlines and other tourism subsectors have been directly affected by the restrictions due to pandemic. Considering coronavirus and its health impact, Nepal Government had to cancel the ambitious campaign “Visit Nepal Year 2020” which aimed to bring 2 million tourists in Nepal. The total 1254 registered Hotels (tourist standard), 29 international airlines flying to Nepal, 20 domestic airlines, 2649 registered trekking agencies have been directly impacted and many tourism businesses among them can no longer sustain.
Domestic tourism is assisting to soften the blow, at least partly, and Nepal government is also coming up with plans and actions to restore and revive the sector, protecting business and jobs. In this time of crisis, people from every part of the world have shown unanimity to fight together to rebuild and reemerge. Many countries including Nepal are now developing measures to develop a more sustainable tourism economy post COVID-19 which includes preparing plans to support the strategic recovery of tourism.
South Korean Oh Eun-Sun becomes the first woman to summit the 14 highest peaks
According to latest reports on BBC and Explorersweb.com a South Korean climber, Oh Eun-Sun has reached the summit of Annapurna and is claiming a record for becoming the first woman to scale the world’s 14 highest peaks. Her ascent to the summit was telecast live on KBS TV network yesterday (27th April 2010) at 18:15 Korea time (about 3:00pm, local time). Oh Eun-Sun was accompanied by 3 sherpas and 2 KBS camera men: Mr. Ha-Young Jung and Mr. Kwan-Joo Nha.
Fishtail Air & Air Zermatt pull off yet another difficult rescue operation
On Monday, 26th April, Fishtail Air & Air Zermatt’s rescue team evacuated seven members of a Korean expedition team from Mt.Manaslu(8,163m).The team comprising of pilot Capt. Sabin Basnyat, and rescue specialists from Air Zermatt, Richi Lehner and Dany Aufdenblatten left Kathmandu at 6:30 AM for Manaslu Base Camp. From above the Base Camp, the team saw, four people at Camp 2 at 6,200 meters and three people at about 200 meters away, moving slowly towards the camp. The rescue team took four rotations to rescue the very exhausted and frostbitten Korean Climbers and Sherpas. After arriving at a stopover, a second helicopter flew the rescued climbers to Kathmandu, while Dany, Sabin and a cameraman from Swiss TV ( who was recording for a documentary), went back to look for the remaining two climbers. They finally spied the lifeless body of one climber at an altitude of 7000 meters in a flank. The body of the other climber could not be located. Due to the height and steep terrain the body of the dead climber could not be recovered.