Many Businesses in Thamel Shut Down Their Doors Due to the Pandemic

 Saturday, February 12, 2022 


With the beginning of the pandemic, many businesses came to a complete stop. Shops which earlier use to be filled with foodies are now devoid of buyers.

“I started my business sometime before the COVID-19 pandemic. I managed to pass many obstacles, but the lack of activity in Thamel makes me restless. Not only mine, but all the businesses in Thamel, whether it is shops, hotels, restaurants, bars and others have been impacted. There is not a single business, which hasn’t been impacted,” said Kamal Raj Singh Suwala restaurant owner.

There used to be big crowds at Thamel for refreshment and recreation until the lockdown was imposed last year, with Fridays and Saturdays being the busiest days for the businesses.

With absence of tourists in the Himalayan Nation, the streets of Thamel, which earlier used to be abuzz with foreigners, now wears a deserted look. Many of the businesses have already shut down, looking for other opportunities, and those left behind are struggling to remain afloat.

“It actually is a season favorable for tourism; the months of February and March actually used to have an increasing influx of tourists but now it has nosedived and tourists’ presence in the market is almost zero due to the Corona virus pandemic. It is really hitting us hard,” said GC, a trekking gear shop owner.

Around 17 per cent of the tourism enterprises in Nepal have permanently shut down since March 2020. Former CEO of the Nepal Tourism Board Deepak Raj Joshi carried on a survey which said that most of these businesses were operating in the Thamel area.

Similarly, 65 per cent of the employees dependent on the tourism industry are unemployed as a result of the pandemic.

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