15 June 2015 – The UNESCO World Heritage Monuments of the Kathmandu Valley are reopened officially for tourists from Monday, June 15, 2015, post the 24/ 5 earthquake that partially damaged these centuries-old palaces and temples. Reopening of these monuments is a march forward in a series of steps towards tourism recovery, to welcome tourists back to areas of their prime interest. Access is restricted in certain areas of the heritage sites to ensure safety precautionary measures and to preserve valuable arts and artifacts there.
The heritage sites around Kathmandu Valley are symbols of Nepal’s history, architecture and culture. Tourism entrepreneurs are positive that reopening of the UNESCO Monuments in Kathmandu Valley will disseminate positive message to the world that Nepal is back to business and is awaiting to welcome tourists. Heritage sites of the Kathmandu Valley are a part of day-to-day life of its people. Rituals, tradition, festivals and culture starting from birth to death are centered around these places. Therefore, these sites are living museums signifying the essence of life in Kathmandu Valley, as it has been through centuries.
Out of 75 districts of Nepal, only 11 districts were hit by the earthquake. Chitwan, Pokhara, Lumbini, Bardia, Annapurna, Everest, eastern region and far west region of Nepal also escaped damage, and are ready for business. Among the 19 protected areas only 3 are affected. More than ninety percent of hotels and restaurants in Kathmandu Valley are in operation. Life in the valley and in other parts of the country is getting back to normal at a fast rate, with recovery and reconstruction efforts underway at affected areas.
Tourism is one of the mainstays of Nepal’s economy, and Nepal will certainly need the income that tourism brings in as it attempts to recover from this disaster and to keep jobs running. Nepal is, indeed, back to business.