Pokhara started opening up after the end of the nationwide lockdown on 21 June, but tourism had not really picked up until the festival last week. While there has been zero international visitors, hotels, restaurants and adventure sports operators are happily welcoming domestic tourists.
“It was quiet for the last seven months and without tourists there was no earning,” said Chandra Kumari BK, a boatsman on Phewa for the past 11 years, who has been out of a job since March. “It was some of the most difficult times, but I’m glad visitors are back now.”
The boating committee in Pokhara has been helping out BK’s family and others like her, who are fully dependent on renting their boats for income, with daily essentials.