Outbound Travel

Nepal’s tourism takes a massive hit

DELHI

The earthquake has forced people to rework plans for a Himalayan getaway with cancellations pouring in from all over. Travel agencies said there was near 90% cancellation of bookings with traffic being diverted to other hill stations and even south-east Asian countries.

Nepal is an affordable and attractive destination for Indian tourists and had witnessed an increase in visitors following the J&K floods, reports Times of India. While some tourists have been diverted to Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Ladakh, many travellers are too jittery and have dropped hill stations in north India altogether, preferring Bali, Thailand, Malaysia or south Indian destinations like Munnar and Nilgiris, said Shiju Radhakrishnan, CEO of iTraveller.com.

Yatra.com president Sharat Dhall said, “This unfortunate calamity has led to tourists across the world cancelling their travel plans to Nepal. We have received calls to cancel almost 90% of close to 1,000 bookings to Nepal. Only people with families in Nepal have requested for bookings to the country.”

MakeMyTrip chief business officer (holidays) Ranjeet Oak said the immediate focus was to ensure that customers who had travelled there were safe. “We are in the process of contacting our customers in Kathmandu to confirm their safety. We are also reaching out to travellers who booked packages to Kathmandu to update them with real-time information on the ground situation. Most of the airlines are offering zero cancellation or re-scheduling charges for up to a week to and from Kathmandu. There were flight cancellations yesterday but all flights are flying on a delayed schedule due to the runway shutdown in Kathmandu,” he added.

 

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