Fuel shortage bites tourism business


The country slowly started to seeing numbers raised tourists after the April-25 earthquake, tourism stakeholders say worries about staying afloat on a diet of fewer tourists during the upcoming peak season is not very low on their list of challenges. How they are going to keep on providing top-level service to visitors and guest when they are low or have already run out of fuel-from transport and electricity to cooking—tops their list of worries.

Figuring out how to maintain their promised quality of service, keeping tourists comfortable, costs low, and fulfilling pledges made on their sold packages has become their top priority. Given that they have no fuel, how are they going to transport guests to places they had promised to take them on their package, they ask.

Airlines, travel and tour organizers, hotel owners and trekking agencies and worried about how they will provide hassle free service to their valuable visitors if the unofficial economic blockade by India continues.

“Airlines are having a hard time due to an aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) shortage. There is little or no fuel to transport those passengers to hotels, which are also running out of LPG to cook food for guests and diesel to run generators. Travel agencies and companies are having a hard time transporting tourists due to lack of petrol and diesel,” Bijaya Amatya, CEO of Kora Tours, says adding that the travel and hospitality industry was going via its bad time and thing could get worse if the same problem is not solved in a week or so.

Because of all the above reasons, travelers who had already planned trips to Nepal are in a dilemma on whether to hold on to their plans or go elsewhere. Beatrica Hearne who had dream of traveling out nation for decade would not be able to do anything as per their plans due to the shortage of fuel.

One of the main problem is connectivity, when the flights which comes Nepal from different destinations have been cancelled and most of them have changed their flight schedule to Nepal.

Chairman of Airline Operators Committee-Nepal, Bharat Kumar Shrestha-says airlines are only operating flights right not need to save our image to protect Nepal during crisis period. “We, the airline agencies, have been facing big looses as we have to pay delay-compensation, also arrange connecting flights, bear entire food and accommodations price for travelers in case they miss their connecting flights, he added that the airlines are caring fewer passengers to educe wait on plane so that they could carry some fuel to return back from Kathmandu to another destinations. As a whole they have to land technically to refuel in different countries airports.

Hearne, the tourist visiting Nepal from London says as a small help we wanted to visit Nepal but worries now then right after the earthquake as well as fuel shortage and political crisis in south part of Nepal.

The general secretary of Nepal Association of Travel and Tour Agents (NATTA), Mihika Dhakwa says the fuel shortage has not yet resulted in cancellations as the international media has not yet covered it.

“However, we, the travel and tour operators, are facing problems mainly as we are worries about fulfilling the promise given to our clients such a receiving them in Kathmandu airport upon arrival, transport facilities and Kathmandu tours among others. Added Dhakwa.

The president of Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO), Mr. Ashok Pokherel mentioned global operators enquiring about the condition but they are not in a position to give concrete answer as not the problem was not in the hands of Nepal. They were also uncertain when the problem would be solved.

The hoteliers are also facing similar issues as they don’t have LPG gas to prepare food for their clients as well as they don’t have extra fuel to pick up their clients.

The president of NEAT (Nepal Entrepreneurs Association of Tourism), Dipak Mahat mentioned that the political problems in south part of Nepal and their blocked have this results in Kathmandu and other areas of Nepal. The problems are mainly from India and tourism industry facing the worst time on these days.

This wouldn’t be good message to the world about tourism but there is no any alternative way to solve it as the government never process alternative ideas to solve on time.

Source: My republica news

Date: 08/October/2015 at 16:06PM

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