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Travel in Nepal After the Quake – Tourism Aids Recovery
We were curious about travel in Nepal after the earthquake. Were there still trips running, and how is the industry being affected? Are tourists welcome, and how can we help?
FYI: This is not a sales post – we were not compensated for posting it – we just want to help spread the word that Nepal is open for adventure and help support the revival of the highly important tourism industry there.
So, we asked GRG’s Adventure Kayaking about their recent trips, and about tourism in general. Here’s what they told us:
EFFECTS OF THE QUAKE
On the 25th April 2015, Nepal was hit with a devastating earthquake, nearly 9000 people were killed, over 800,000 homes were destroyed along with thousands of schools. However, not all of Nepal has fallen, only certain areas are affected. Nepal is still a wonderful holiday destination.
After the earthquake, tourism dropped to nearly zero, booking are down 95% compared to the same time last year, leaving those who had survived the quake in another problem as tourism counts for over 8% of the country’s national income. Without tourists visiting Nepal thousands are out of work. There has already been a mass exodus of young healthy men leaving for the Middle East searching for work. They are also earthquake victims even though they may not have lost their homes.
Nepal needs your tourism to get back on its feet and it’s an incredible country to travel to. You won’t be left disappointed.
The main areas where the earthquake did the most damage, are not typically the tourist hot spots anyway. The most popular tourists destinations in country, Thamel, Pokhara, the Annapurna range and Lumbini are the same as before and are ready to welcome you with open arms.
If you were to walk down the main street in Lakeside, Pokhara at the moment, the restaurants and bars that are normally full this time of year are totally empty. Taxi drivers all sit together hoping for one passing tourists. The ladies that sell handicraft on the streets sleep in the shade of trees their hope for selling anything getting smaller and smaller each day. And shop keepers are still keeping their shops open but many haven’t sold anything since April 25th.
Before the earthquake put Nepal on the map, many people may not have even realized Nepal was a popular holiday destination. It is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries you can travel to. No matter what type of holiday you are looking for, adventure, culture, religion or relaxing, Nepal will have something for you. There is so much to see and do here; Trekking, mountain biking, rafting, paragliding, yoga retreats, spa’s, impressive monasteries, lakeside towns, ancient temples (not all have been destroyed despite what you may have seen in the media), cocktails in the sun, the list goes on and on all in the shadow of the mighty Himalayan Mountain Range
Those who have been to Nepal before always speak of the incredible scenery, the spectacular Himalayan Mountains and of course the unparalleled hospitality of the Nepali people. Over 1 million foreigners travel to Nepal every year and without their valuable income, Nepal will find it hard to get back on it’s feet.
We recently ran a rafting trip on the Trisuli river which is one of the most popular rafting rivers in Nepal. At this time of year the valley is totally green and the river in rising due to the monsoon making it a wild ride! Safety is always at the top of our priorities, but as this was the first trip we had run since the earthquake, we had sent 6 of our staff the day before just to check conditions were safe. We saw no difference in the river. On this trip you spend around 4 hours on the river navigating several impressive rapids, there is also time for swimming and playing river games and cliff jumping.
And one of our clients wrote the following:
From the Wildest of the wild adventure. GrG staff are very friendly and experienced river guide. From inflating a raft in the morning to setting up lunch and running the river this monsoon season despite the catastrophic earthquake, the whole GrG team has been very welcoming. This is the best rafting and kayaking company in Nepal. I can’t wait for my next rafting trip with GrG
Do you want to help Nepal? Come here on your next vacation!
Start planning your holiday now…
Photos courtesy of GRG Adventures