What is a crisis?
Crises are unexpected happenings which enervate the regular course of business operation by damaging images
of travel trade community, national travel destination and increase diffidence in visitors’, trekkers’ and travelers’
Following definition made by various organizations and experts give a clear picture of the meaning of a crisis.
“A crisis is an unexpected event that effects traveler confidence in a destination and interferes with the ability to
continue operating normally”
–WTO Crisis Management Plan
Why Tourism Crisis management in Nepal?
The Nepal Tourism Board’s definition of a crisis situation for tourism is “an unforeseen event or series of events which, in the Board’s view, may have a very significant adverse effect on the tourist industry in the Country” The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) considers it imperative to put in place a Crisis Manual, following the deterioration of the security situation in the country. As the agency with primary responsibility for the marketing of Nepal as a tourist destination, the Board is very concerned to play a lead role in protecting the county’s tourism industry as best as it can from the negative results which come out of a deteriorating security situation.
Occasionally, such events may not even be within the Country itself (for example, a world crisis affecting air travel); however, this manual is intended to provide guidance to all concerned to act promptly and responsibly to do all it can to protect the Nepal’s tourism industry in any crisis situation. In accordance with its legislative remit, the Board will act to co-ordinate and advise the tourism industry and other agencies (such as health services, foreign embassies and the press) to help ensure as far as possible the safety of tourists, the provision of accurate information and the protection of the image of Nepal as a tourist destination.
It must of course be noted that responsibility for maintaining the safety and security of both citizens and tourists rests primarily with the security forces of Nepal Government, and responsibility for individual tourists’ safety rests with their tour operator, accommodation provider and others from whom they buy a service. Generally individual visitors will carry insurance, and Nepal has extensive experience of dealing with individual crisis situations, such as mountain rescue. This manual is ready-to-use kind of document which will provide guidance to the individual or company in case of emergency.
Type of crises
There are major two types of crises. These can be divided into natural disaster and man-made.
There are many types of natural calamities and disaster. We should prepare us for unimaginable happening of an
event and risks.
We have experienced some of the following calamities:
- Medical epidemic
- Frost bite
- Snow blindness
- Altitude sickness.
Human behavior and attitude frequently produces difficulties, risks and hurdles in regular functioning of a particular businesses and assignation. Generally crises created by individual and groups, just to name a few, may be in the form of
- Strikes and closures, Political and civil unrest
- Environment pollution
- System failure of communication and technology
- Armed conflict and war
- Government proclaimed state of emergency,
- Crime and Disease.
People’s reaction over an events and accidents may create crisis and hazards that significantly damage the working environment of assigned and planned work. Conflict is one of the major factors that caused major security and safety hazards. Mob and crowd behavior are the sources of man-made crises and risks. In fact, no human being can anticipate the exact time and place of occurrence of disastrous event and man-made crises. Therefore a pro-active role is required to address a possible crisis.
Tourism Crisis Coordination Committee
The high level Tourism Crisis Coordination Committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Hon’ble
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. The committee provides guidelines to the different government
and non-government organizations to resolve the tourism related crisis. The committee shall also review, monitor
and evaluate the works carried out during the crisis or for the management of the crisis.
Depending on the nature of crisis the committee will meet frequently. However, Nepal Tourism Board and Tourism Crisis Response Action Unit will carry out the regular works.
|Structure of the Committee:|
|1.||Hon. Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation|
|2.||Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and|
|3.||Representative, Home Ministry (Gazetted First Class)||Member|
|4.||Representative, Defence Ministry (Gazetted First Class)||Member|
|5.||Representative, Foreign Ministry (Gazetted First Class)|
|6.||Representative, Information & Communications|
Ministry (Gazetted First Class)
|7.||Representative, Health Ministry (Gazetted First Class)||Member|
|8.||Representative, Tourism Ministry (Gazetted First Class)||Member|
Dept. of National Investigation (Gazetted First Class)
|10.||Representative, Nepal Army (Gazetted First Class)||Member|
|11.||Representative, Nepal Police (Gazetted First Class)||Member|
|12.||Representative, Armed Police Force (Gazetted First Class)||Member|
|14.||One of the board Members (Nepal Tourism Board)||Member|
|15.||One of the board Members (Nepal Tourism Board)||Member-Secretary|
Tourism Crisis Response Action Unit
The Tourism Crisis Response Action Unite has been constituted under the convenorship of Chief Executive Office
of NTB. The unit has representation from the private sector and experts depending on the situation and need.
Structure of the Action Unit:
|1.||Chief Executive Officer, Nepal Tourism Board||Convenor|
|12.||Representative from Nepal Army||Member|
|13.||Representative from Nepal Police||Member|
|14.||Representative from Armed Police Force||Member|
|15.||Expert, Concerned Sector||Member|
|16.||Director, Corporate Services, NTB||Member|
|17.||Director, Tourism Marketing & Promotion, NTB||Member|
|18.||Director, Tourism Products & Resources Development, NTB||Member|
|19.||Director, Research and Monitoring, NTB||Member|
|20.||Director, PR & Publicity, NTB||Member- Secretary|
NTB IN ACTION:
In order to strengthen and consolidate the information network and deliver the authentic situation update, the Media Center of Nepal Tourism Board has been sending information on a weekly basis to consumer, travel trade, media and well-wishers of Nepal.
During period of crisis and emergency rescue, the Media Center has been playing the role of a coordinator in collecting and disseminating authentic information to concerned parties to facilitate timely and immediate action.
Especially designed to cater to the need of the visitors during times of crises, the Media Center of Nepal Tourism Board has also been maintaining a round the clock hotline to disseminate information and answer specific queries.
Taking in view the convenience of the tourists who are arriving and departing Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board in coordination with tourism entrepreneurs has been operating shuttle buses from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Kathmandu to different parts of the city and from different parts of the city to the Airport during Nepal Bandh (strikes and closure).
On June 26, 2010, Nepal Tourism Board and The Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) signed Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) in managing tourism crisis more effectively. Major highlights of the MoU are: to address bandh in Kathmandu and other places by running shuttle buses, coordinate with political parties and others for smooth operation of shuttle buses, coordinate with other tourism related association for defusing tourism crisis. HRA is a voluntary non-profit organization formed in 1973 with an objective to reduce casualties in the Nepal Himalayas, especially keeping in view the increasing number of Nepalese and foreigners who trek up into the remote wilderness.
One of the most important tasks of the HRA is to try to prevent deaths from Acute Mountain Sickness that confronts foreign trekkers. For the last thirty-five years, the HRA has helped make a safer Himalaya for tourism. Since its inspection, it has manned a small aid post in the Khumbu village of Pheriche at an altitude of 14,343 feet.
The Pheriche aid-post is manned twice yearly during the trekking season by volunteer doctors. Similarly since November 1981 another permanent aid post in Manang, manned by volunteer doctors of HRA has been in operation. The Association has also opened various temporary post during season at various points like the Na Village in Rolwaling, the mouth of the Annapurna Sanctuary, the Gokyo Trail, and at the osaikunda Lake area.
In case of emergency, tourists can contact:
Nepal Tourism Board
Tourism Crisis Unit