Binayak Shah of the Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) agrees. He says hotels are starting to get inquiries from tourists planning to visit Nepal in spring and autumn season, but they are turned off by the convoluted and confusing requirements.
“Most tourists from Europe or North America are not yet ready to take a long-distance flight, but there is a lot of potential for visitors from neighbouring India, China and other South Asian countries if the process was easier,” Shah says.
To be sure, the government has gone some way in easing restrictions. For example, a person with a vaccine certificate will no longer have to show a PCR negative report before boarding a flight to Nepal. But the rule is not clear what happens after arrival in Kathmandu, whether a quarantine is required or not.
Says Pradip Kumar Koirala of the Ministry of Tourism, “We are not trying to discourage tourists, we are just trying to ensure that public health is protected.”
Read also: Model for post-Covid ecotourism, Nepali Times