May 5: Lack of integrated data in the tourism industry has become a major hindrance to identify the exact losses for relief distribution.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) in a statement informed that there is a lack of official data to identify the exact losses incurred by the tourism industry in Nepal. However, there is no doubt that tourism is the most affected sector due to the crisis created by coronavirus.
Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board, Dr Dhananjay Regmi, held a video conversation with media persons on Monday to discuss about Nepali Tourism amid coronavirus crisis. During the conversation, he informed that Nepali tourism sector has a tentative investment of Rs 160 billion and has created around 300,000 jobs, according to a study conducted by Nepal Tourism Board.
However, other organizations claim that the actual size of the investment in tourism is more than Rs 160 billion while this sector provides 800,000 to 1 million jobs.
Even though the government had earlier demanded data on the total investment and employment provided by the industry, tourism entrepreneurs could not provide the data.
The government is having difficulties to allocate relief packages for the tourism industry to combat coronavirus due to the unavailability of accurate data.
A total of 837 firms had participated in the study conducted by the NTB. Regmi after studying the data informed that the tourism sector has an estimated bank loan of Rs 60 billion where Rs 1 billion is to be paid in installments and interest every month.
"The government will only include the companies which are officially registered and are paying taxes while announcing the relief package through the budget. So, those who are not registered may be left out,” he informed.