As the situation of Nepal is heading toward normalcy, various countries including UK, US and New Zealand have lifted restrictions on their citizens travelling to Nepal, except for districts hit hard by the April 25 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks which is a great relief to the country’s battered tourism industry.
Almost all countries have issued travel advisory, advising their citizen not to visit Nepal in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.
New Zealand was the first country to review its travel advisory. On June 30, it officially informed the Nepal Tourism Board that it has lowered its risk level. However, it has kept some districts on high risk list. The New Zealand Embassy in Nepal Delhi stated that earthquake effected district of Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Sindhupalchok, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Okhaldunga, Dhading and Makwanpur have high risk of safety. The New Zealand Embassy advised against all tourists and other essential travel to these districts due to earthquake damage, ongoing relief and recovery efforts and the risk of landslides and avalanches.
The Department of States had issued the travel advisory against Nepal on May 1, stating not to travel in Nepal unless it is an emergency. However, after two months the US Department of States, on Thursday July 2, updated its travel advisory stating restrictions have been lifted. The US Government encouraged travelers to consult with travel agency for current location-specific information.
On Friday July 4, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom updated its travel advisory advising against all, but essential travel to the districts- Humla, Mugu, Dolpa, Mustang, Lamjung, Gorkha, Dhading, Rasuwa, Dolakha, Ramechhap,Okhaldunga, Solukhumbu, Taplejung and San-khuwasabha.
According to official of NTB, Canada is reviewing its travel warning. The Netherlands and Switzerland have continued to advise their national to exercise caution while traveling to Nepal.
The government has been persuading countries to consider Nepal in regard to travel alerts and advisory they have imposed post earthquake. Ashok Pokhrel, president of Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO) said, “The Softening of the travel warnings is a welcome sign for the Nepal’s tourism industry, which has already been experiencing a downturn.”