Nepal creates short-term jobs for tourism workers amid COVID-19

By TIN Media | International Published 1 week ago on 21 July 2021
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The Nepal Tourism Board is establishing a scheme to provide temporary employment to those who have lost their jobs due to the severe COVID-19 outbreak, which has put a huge number of workers in the tourism industry unemployed.

The programme, which was launched in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, provides short-term employment to lower-level tourist professionals by involving them in the sanitization and maintenance of tourism facilities, such as hiking routes and trail bridges.

The tourism board began soliciting applications from local non-governmental groups, cooperatives, and community-based organisations in order to include their participation in the event.

"We initially started the program early this year in just five locations," Dhananjay Regmi, chief executive officer of the tourism board, told Xinhua. "We're implementing this program nationwide from the new 2021-22 fiscal year."

Nepal's new fiscal year began on July 16.

According to Regmi, the programme will be implemented in all rural municipalities in hilly and mountainous districts, as well as in select rural municipalities in the southern plain districts, through a resource-sharing structure.

"Under this programme, which is being executed under the sustainable tourism for livelihood recovery project," Regmi added, "we hope to provide short-term employment to 1,600 tourism employees." "We'll also launch a separate programme connected to tourism infrastructure development, which will employ more tourism personnel."

Nepal's tourism is among the sectors being hit hard by the coronavirus, and hotels and restaurants had cut jobs by 40 percent during the first wave of the epidemic in early 2020, according to a survey conducted by the Nepali central bank in June 2020.

Ever since the pandemic befell and a second wave hit in early April this year, the tourism industry in Nepal has been struggling to recover amid dwindling foreign arrivals. In 2019, the South Asian country received 1.17 million foreign tourists. The number fell to 230,085 in 2020 and diminished further to a meagre 58,040 by mid-June this year, according to the Department of Immigration.

As a result, accommodation and food services had witnessed a negative growth of 25.72 percent in the 2019-20 fiscal year, the Central Bureau of Statistics figures show.

According to the Economic Census 2018 conducted by the bureau, tourism industry was providing 371,140 jobs in Nepal, making it the fourth largest job creator.


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