Prince Harry Visit to Nepal: A milestone to support Tourism in Nepal after the earthquake

Receiving a traditional welcome in Kathmandu’s Historic Patan Durbar Square, Photo: Kensington Palace

Britain’s Prince Harry started his visit to Nepal on 19th of March with a tribute to the earthquake victims, survivors focusing on the “resolve and resilience of Nepalese people” who are still trying to recover from the after effects of the April 25 earthquake. At the start of his five-day visit, on Saturday he spoke at a government reception in Kathmandu stating that Nepal holds a special place in the imagination for so many people and said that like many other people he was grown up seeing beautiful images of Nepal in books and on television.

His visit includes Patan Durbar Square: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, different areas hit by the earthquake, peoples’ lifestyle there and their strives to recover. He also plans to visit Bardiya and Banke National Parks along with rafting, trekking, cultural visit, sunset over the Himalayas and sight seeing in Pokhara.

His visit was set after the government of UK lifted its travel warning to its citizens from visiting Nepal. Previously, US, UK, and New Zealand lifted restrictions on their citizens traveling to Nepal for the districts affected by the Earthquake. For this time, the visit of Prince Harry followed by the removal of restrictions would play a significant role in uplifting the tourism sector again into its original position. Even the visit took place as an indication of the 200 years of Nepal-Britain relationships as well as spotlighting the recovery of Nepal from the devastating earthquake, his visit to discover the natural beauty of Nepal, trekking areas, cities and lifestyles of people would inspire a lot of enthusiasts to follow his footsteps. The assessment of safety status of Nepal has already indicated Nepal as a safe destination even though there had been blockade which also played a key role in fuel scarcity and transportation dissatisfying travelers in Nepal. But the current scenario is all set to normal.

These two factors, the earthquake, and the blockade had played as a kind of resistive force in the tourism sector of Nepal. The news was so spread in the online communities of the trekkers and travelers that there were so many inquiries about safety in Nepal in different online forums.  Among the 75 districts, only 14 were affected by the earthquake and most of the famous treks like Annapurna and Everest regions are almost safe. The vastly affected regions were Manaslu and Langtang regions where the government has suspended the trekking permits.

Nepal has already appealed to the world for visitors to come back. Tourism provides almost over 1 million jobs in Nepal and remains the only major contributing factor for the economy. The visit of Prince Harry and his activities can be a significant shift for enhancing tourism in Nepal.