UK ambassador, DFID chief join ‘I am in Nepal Now’ campaign

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 15, 2015-

British Ambassador to Nepal John Rankin along with Gail Marzetti, head of Department for International Development (DFID) Nepal, took part in the social media campaign that encourages tourists to visit Nepal post earthquake disaster.

Rankin and Marzetti are seen in the picture holding a placard reading ‘I AM IN Nepal NOW’ at Dhampus while trekking along the Annapurna region on Saturday. A social media campaign that started after the earthquake where tourists in the country are encouraged to hold a placard stating they are in Nepal to send out a message to the world that Nepal is safe to travel.

In a video message posted from Dhampus, Ambassador Rankin said that some areas are still unsafe after the earthquake that hit the country on April 25, but most of the country is now open for people to come and visit. “It is very important for the economic recovery of this country that tourism should revive. So stay safe and come and enjoy Nepal,” he said.  The Ambassador also pointed out that the UK citizens should follow the British FCO’s travel advice.

Marzetti, in a video message, said, “I am, trekking in Nepal. It’s not been a great morning, there’s a very misty cloud covering the great Annapurna range, but in September it will be different and it will be fantastic. Do come to Nepal for two reasons—one is to have the holiday of a lifetime. And the second, is to support the Nepali recovery after the earthquake.”

In her statement, Marzetti further mentioned that UKaid has been supporting the people with their home stays, their businesses and their jobs out in the remote areas.

The Apirl 25 earthquake and its aftershocks posed a major setback to the country’s tourism sector as some of the major tourist destinations suffered damages. The government projected the country would lose 40 percent of tourists this year due to the mass departure of visitors after the earthquake and cancellation of hotel bookings for the upcoming season which is estimated to be more than 70 percent.

A Nepali group had launched a social media campaign about a month ago to encourage tourists to visit safer destinations inside the country. The campaign had a positive impact as hundreds of tourists have in turn shared the placards saying “I am in Nepal Now” and “I am going to Nepal”.

Soon after the April 25 earthquake, almost all countries had issued travel advisory, advising their citizens not to visit Nepal in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Three countries—the US, the UK and New Zealand—have since lifted restrictions on their citizens travelling to Nepal, except for districts hardest hit by the earthquakes.

Published: 16-08-2015 10:06

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