‘No one comes here any more’: the human cost as Covid wipes out tourism

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From Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca to wildlife tourism in Nepal, we find out how the crisis has affected people in four travel hotspots – and whether or not they want the tourists to return

In March last year, it was predicted that the global travel shutdown would cause international arrivals to plummet by 20 to 30% by the end of 2020.

Six weeks later, the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) revised their warning: international arrivals could fall by up to 80% – equating to a billion fewer tourists and the worst crisis in the history of the industry.

Photograph: Roy Childs/Alamy

I am missing my country and my profession, but I don’t have any options; because of Covid, I was jobless

Former wildlife guide, Ashish Kadariya, at Chitwan national park in Nepal

A man walks along the now-deserted tourist hub of Thamel, Kathmandu. Photograph: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

All photographs: William Wroblewski

To be human is to move around, to exchange with other cultures, to know other places

Juan Callo inspects his last crop of tarwi, a nutritious Andean bean. By August, most crops have been harvested, leaving people to depend on supplies stored in their homes

Gabriela Laruta, daughter of ASITURSO founder Tomas Laruta, with her niece at her father’s house, which the family is converting into bedrooms for tourists

A billboard in Santiago de Okola welcomes visitors to ‘The House of the Dragon’, the large rock formation that is one of the town’s main tourist attractions

Photograph: Pascal Mannaerts/Alamy

I miss tourists. When they came to us, we did not feel cut off. On the contrary, I felt like we were part of this world

The tourist information office in Murghab, a former Soviet military outpost. Photograph: Sanook Tiew/Alamy

Photograph: Dietmar Temps/Alamy

Now there is literally nothing. International tourism is completely gone. Even Malawians are scared to come here

Before the pandemic Potiphar Tilinga sold souvenirs to tourists, now he is struggling to make a living. Photograph: Charles Pensulo/The Guardian

Related: ‘It opened my eyes’: Lesotho ski resort goes off-piste to keep workers

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Written by Pete Pattisson, William Wroblewski, Mehrangez Tursunsoza and Charles Pensulo
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/aug/19/no-one-comes-here-any-more-the-human-cost-as-covid-wipes-out-tourism under the title “‘No one comes here any more’: the human cost as Covid wipes out tourism”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.