Yeti Airlines plane crash likely to send huge blow to ailing tourism industry

Published On: January 20, 2023 10:00 AM NPT By: Santosh Pokharel

POKHARA, Jan 20: The recent plane crash of Yeti Airlines in Pokhara, which resulted in a large number of deaths, has had a significant impact not only on the loss of human life but also on the tourism industry. As many as 72 people, including 15 foreign tourists, died in the crash. As a result of the incident, local businesses have reported a decrease in the number of foreign and domestic tourists visiting Pokhara.

Businesses in the tourism sector have reported that the recent plane crash has compounded the existing problems caused by the off-season and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They have reported a further decline in the number of tourists visiting the area since the crash. This includes both foreign and domestic tourists, and some businesses have also reported the cancellation of meetings and seminars. The overall effect is that the tourism sector has not yet returned to its pre-corona state.

According to the manager of a popular hotel in Lakeside, guest arrivals have seen a sudden drop after the recent plane crash. The manager stated that it was already the season with fewer visitors, and tourism has not yet fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, hotel occupancy is expected to be at 25 percent. The manager attributed the decrease in guest arrivals to fear and anxiety following the crash, with foreign tourists canceling their travel plans and seminars and meetings being postponed or canceled. The manager added that non-governmental organizations' events have been particularly affected.

Fistel Lodge's General Manager, Roshan Khawas, also commented that the recent plane crash has had a negative impact on the tourism sector in Pokhara. He stated that hotel occupancy in the area was already low due to the off-season, and the crash has further exacerbated the situation. Khawas reported that bookings have been canceled in the wake of the accident, but not everyone has responded in the same way. Some people view the accident as an unfortunate event and are continuing with their travel plans, while others have immediately canceled their bookings. Despite this variation in response, Khawas acknowledged that the crash has had an effect on the tourism sector.

Omprakash Pandey, the director of another notable hotel, also stated that the recent plane crash has affected the arrival of guests. He said that there are only a small number of guests currently staying in the hotel. He also mentioned that Indian guests who were planning to fly, have canceled their air travel and now plan to travel by land. He said that the rumors that air travel in Nepal is unsafe are spreading, and this is causing some people to cancel their trips. He said that the domestic guests are not present at this time and the tourism sector is like a desert.

Businessmen have reported that after the plane crash in Pokhara, various rumors have been circulating. Additionally, they have also expressed concerns that the international media has reported the accident in various ways, causing fear and panic among guests who were planning to visit.

Naresh Bhattarai, the director of Mount Kailash Resort and the President of the Restaurant and Bar Association of Nepal (RBN) in Pokhara, also believes that the plane crash has sent a negative message to the tourism sector. He stated that guests are now hesitant to travel by air, and some guests who were staying at his hotel, who were originally scheduled to return by plane, have canceled their air travel and instead arranged for land transportation. He acknowledged that while this is not a permanent situation, the accident has had a negative impact on the tourism sector in the short-term.



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