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Impact of SARS Epidemic in Nepal - 2003-04-30

Interviews with Mr. Ugyen Tsering, owner of Utse Hotel and Mr. Lhakpa, a travel agent in Kathmandu, reported on the effects that SARS fears are having on tourism and travel in Nepal. Mr. Tsering said that although there are not many trekkers in Nepal during monsoon season, but they had many Western tourists going to Tibet through Kathmandu as they stay a couple of days in Nepal before and after their travel to Tibet. As a result, the summer tourist business in Kathmandu used to be pretty good. He added that they even had many Chinese tourists coming to Nepal from China. However, since the announcement of a ban on travel to Tibet last week as a part of SARS preventive measures, the tourist business in Nepal seems to have gone. He also said that even the Chinese tourists have stopped coming to Nepal. Not only his business but also that of others used to be good during summer, but also he thinks that this summer it’s going to be different situation. Because of the SARS epidemic there are no more foreign tourists going to Tibet through Kathmandu.