Post Earthquake highlights by Miyamoto International

Miyamoto International, a global engineering, construction management and project management company  conducted the assessment between June 27 and July 2 on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. we have yet to get the final report.

“As most of the trails and bridges are safe, we can resume trek from September after monsoon ends,” said Sagar Pandey, general secretary of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN).


  1. Many villages on the Everest Base Camp trail namely Lukla, Namche,Khumjung, Tengboche, and all villages above Dingboche do not appear to have been affected by landslide hazards.
  2.  Villages like Phakding and Jorsale have significant existing rockfall hazard while Toktok, Bengkar and Shomore have been affected by very serious geotechnical hazards.
  3.  None of the nine suspension bridges assessed by Miyamoto engineers appear to have been affected by new geotechnical hazards.
  4.  Much of the trail and most of the rock retaining walls, both above and below the trails, are undamaged.
  5.  Among 710 buildings approx, 120 buildings was observed for structural damage from which 83 percent building can be given a green tag i.e Safe.
  6.  Damaged buildings can be repaired and building owners have started reconstruction.

Is Nepal Safe to Travel?

Post the 25 April Earthquake and the resulting aftershocks, “Is it safe to travel to Nepal?” is the common question among tourists worldwide. The devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake prompted almost every country has recommended its citizens to exercise caution while travelling to Nepal. While the safety directives issued have their own good reasons, they fail to cast light on many positives for tourists that remain.

The general understanding is that due to the earthquakes, the monsoon season will be vulnerable against floods and landslides. It is true, with the kind of terrain Nepal has, it has always endured landslides and floods during monsoon. The recent earthquakes increase the risk. It is important to note that the risks were always there and are not the byproducts of earthquakes. While the risk factors are always there, after the recent earthquakes they have been exaggerated in many ways.

Let us talk about the positives. The pictures shown by the world media told the story of post earthquake in Nepal. The devastation caused was tragic and the grief was felt worldwide. However, the message it delivered, knowingly or unknowingly, has been that Nepal is totally destroyed. Hidden in the disaster reporting is the fact that the earthquakes affected only eight of the 75 districts in Nepal.

What does it mean for travelers wishing to visit Nepal?

  • Only one of the 10 National Parks is affected.
  • More than 90% of the hotels in Kathmandu are open for service. Other popular cities like Pokhara, Chitwan, and Lumbini and Bardia are not affected at all.
  • Annapurna Region is fully unaffected and Everest Region is open after bearing initial damages.
  • The Durbar Squares and temples in Kathmandu are open for visitors.
  • Only two trekking routes are affected.
  • The International and National airports have no significant damages and are fully functional.
  • There have been no epidemics as a result of earthquakes.

To top it all, most of the hotels and trekking agencies in Nepal are offering incredible deals even for tourist seasons. You will be saving a lot while enjoying the Himalayas.

What can I do to stay safe?

The best way to ensure your safety is to make sure that you talk properly with your travel agents. The local agents based in Nepal are regularly updated about the trekking regions. They also have the first hand information when it comes to the condition of trekking trails post earthquakes.  A few trekkers have already travelled to Nepal after the earthquake. Referring to their experiences will not only help you be sure about your decision to travel to Nepal but also learn from what they have seen. We also recommend avoiding the earthquake hit regions like Gorkha and Langtang for the time being.

Finally the Answer to “Is Nepal safe to travel?”

Trekking and climbing in Nepal belongs to some of the most loved vacation activities among tourists worldwide. The tourism infrastructure of Nepal is not much worse than it was prior to the earthquakes. Good news for many is that the hotels and trekking operators are offering some of the best prices ever offered. Many of them are also working together for a social cause to help those affected by earthquakes. So you are not only travelling, but travelling to make a difference. Thus, yes, Nepal is safe to travel. Come and enjoy the pristine beauty of the Himalayas that remain unshaken by the recent earthquakes in Nepal.

US, UK and NZ lift travel restrictions to Nepal

KATHMANDU, JUL 04 – Three countries—the US, the UK and New Zealand—have lifted restrictions on their citizens travelling to Nepal, except for districts hit hard by the April 25 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.

More countries are likely to follow suit, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) officials said.

Almost all countries had issued travel advisory, advising their citizens not to visit Nepal in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.

The US government had issued the travel advisory against Nepal on May 1, stating not to travel to Nepal unless it is an emergency. However, after two months, the US government on Thursday updated its travel advisory. The notice was issued stating the restrictions have been lifted. Nepal is now safe to travel though there are a few aftershocks yet.

“The Department of State terminated the authorized departure of non-emergency US government personnel and dependents on Thursday. This replaces the travel warning dated May 1,” said the US Department of State on its website. “We encourage travellers to consult carefully with their travel and trekking agencies for current, location-specific information.”

The US is the third largest tourist source market for Nepal. Tourism Ministry statistics show Nepal received 47,355 tourists from the US. The number was 17,518 in 2002.

On Friday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the United Kingdom updated its travel advisory advising against all, but essential travel to the districts—Humla, Mugu, Dolpa, Mustang, Manang, Lamjung, Gorkha (including the Manaslu trekking region), Dhading, Rasuwa (which includes the Langtang Valley trekking region), Nuwakot, Sindhup-alchok, Kavrepalanchok, Dol-akha, Ramechhap, Okhaldhu-nga, Solukhumbu (including Everest base camp and the Everest trekking routes), San- khuwasabha and Taplejung.

It said travel on the main highway from Kathmandu to Pokhara, which passes through Nuwakot, Gorkha and Dhading districts, is exempted from the FCO’s advice against all but essential travel. The UK is the fifth largest source market to Nepal with annual arrivals of 35,668 visitors in 2013.

New Zealand was the first country to review its travel advisory. On June 30, it officially informed the NTB that it has lowered its risk level, which was raised in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.

However, it has kept some districts on high-risk list. “There is high risk to your safety in the districts of Gorkha, Kavrepalanchok, Dhading, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Sindupalchok, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Okhaldhunga and Makwanpur. Nepal has designated these districts as earthquake-affected. We advise against all tourists and other non-essential travel to these districts due to earthquake damage, ongoing relief and recovery efforts and the risk of landslides and avalanches,” said New Zealand Embassy in New Delhi.

Nepal received 2,808 tourists from New Zealand in the previous year.

An NTB official said Canada is also reviewing its travel warnings. Japan has not changed its travel advisory. The Netherlands and Switzerland have continued to advise their nationals to exercise caution while visiting Nepal, but the tone of these advisories is significantly milder, the NTB said.

Only one-fourth of the trip bookings made with our agency have been cancelled, Sonia Miyahara, operator of Mountain Travel Japan, said at a recent interaction

in Nepal.

The government, in a bid to revive the tourism industry, has been persuading countries to consider Nepal in regard to travel alerts they have imposed post earthquake. “The softening of the travel warnings is a welcome sign for the Nepal’s tourism industry, which has already been experiencing a downturn,” said Ashok Pokhrel, president of the Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO). “It will also ease the travel insurance process for many people planning a vacation in Nepal.”

The government has projected losing 40 percent of tourists this year due to the mass departure of the visitors after the earthquake and cancellation of Nepal’s trip booking for the upcoming seasons that is estimated to be more than 70 percent.

The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment report has pointed out that Nepal will significantly lose high-end tourists, but low-end segment and backpackers will continue their trips to Nepal.

-Sangam Prasain