Earthquake devastates tourism in and around Nepal

All tourism-related activities have ground to a halt
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks that have shaken the Kathmandu valley are now known to have taken more than 4,300 lives and injured 8,000, while those needing food aid number around 1.4 million, according to numbers quoted by TTG Asia and the BBC.
All expeditions and tourism-related activities have ground to a halt, said the consulate general of Nepal, Kolkata office, and prominent heritage sites have been destroyed or affected.
After 17 mountain climbers were killed on the slopes of Mount Everest after an avalanche was triggered by Saturday’s quake, many more remain stranded at Camp 1 and Camp 2 awaiting evacuation to base camp.
However, Singapore’s The Straits Times reports that local travel agencies including CTC Travel and Dynasty Travel have no plans to change tours to Kathmandu or Tibet, the latter also having been affected by the tremors.
Insight Vacations Asia’s tour season and program start in August and the operator will advise on adjustments as more information becomes clear. Sheryl Lim, the tour operator’s regional director, tells TTG Asia: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the affected.”
She adds: “Insight Vacations runs a four-day Mini Stay in Kathmandu as part of the India Specialist Program. We did not have any clients in Kathmandu at the time of the earthquake. We will be guided by the advisory of the relevant authorities in Nepal when they are available to update our clients on their future travel plans.”
Regional carrier SilkAir says that flights to and from Kathmandu will continue to operate as per its schedule but will waive administrative charges and penalties for customers holding confirmed tickets issued on or before 25 April who would like to rebook travel to and from Kathmandu between now and October 31.
A PATA spokesperson told TTG Asia by email: “On Saturday, we held the PATA Foundation Charity Gala Dinner (in Leshan, China), where the chairman of the PATA Foundation publicly pledged to help Nepal.” Further details are pending. The UN is also readying a flash appeal for funding from the international community.
For those who would like to donate towards relief efforts, Facebook is facilitating donations to International Medical Corps and has pledged to match all gifts dollar for dollar, up to US$2 million.
TTG Asia
[pictured: Map of the Nepal earthquake and its aftershocks; courtesy U.S. Geological Survey]


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