COVID-19: The impact on Tourism Industry of Nepal

COVID-19 and tourism industry has a sturdy association, but such a relationship deeply negative. With the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, countries banned the movement of people as preventive measures to curb the spread of the virus. Transportations, hotels, and restaurants are the worst-hit sectors by COVID-19 and these sectors are directly linked with the tourism industry. The Great Global Lockdown completely halted the movement of people. Consequently, the labor-intensive tourism industry collapsed utterly with the wake of the pandemic. UNTWO (2020) estimates a loss of 850 million to 1.1 billion international tourists, loss of USD 910 billion to USD 1.2 trillion in export revenues from tourism, and 100 to 120 million jobs at risk.

The tourism industry is one of the influential industries. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (2019), the tourism sector accounted for 10.4 percent of global GDP and 319 million jobs to 10 percent of total employment. Domestic tourism accounted for 71.2 percent of all tourism spending in 2018 and had the strongest growth in developing countries (WTTC, 2019). Tourism income accounts for 28.3 percent of global services exports and 6.8 percent of total export. Likewise, tourism is one of the most thriving and fast-growing service sectors in Nepal which contributes about 6.7% of the GDP (WWTC, 2019). This includes both direct and indirect contribution of tourism to GDP. In terms of employment, the tourism industry in Nepal provides total employment to 700 thousand people with 500 thousand direct jobs.

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