Tourism entrepreneurs have immediately demanded 5,000 doses of vaccines for tourism workers and business people.
A team headed by Pokhara Tourism Council Chairperson Gopi Bahadur Bhattarai on Tuesday called on Gandaki Province Finance Minister Ramjee Prasad Baral demanded an immediate arrangement of vaccination to bail out the coronavirus-battered tourism economy.
On the occasion, Council chair Bhattarai said 5,000 doses are required targeting the workers and entrepreneurs of hotels and restaurants in the first phase.
"Though it requires 20,000 doses for entire tourism entrepreneurs in Pokhara, we have merely demanded 5,000 vaccines to address the immediate need", he said.
The delegation also called for rescheduling the loan repayment calendar as there is no possibility for small and medium scale entrepreneurs to repay the instalment and interest of loans taken from banks and financial institutions within two years.
The delegation also urged the provincial government to make mandatory arrangements for every bank to flow a maximum of five per cent of its loan portfolio to the tourism industry at a subsidized interest rate. The delegation also asked the provincial government to put tourism on top priority in the monetary policy of the current fiscal year, 2021/22.
Finance Minister Baral said the provincial government has emphatically approached the federal government to ensure the supply of vaccines. The province government would lay high emphasis on revitalizing the coronavirus-hit tourism industry.
The delegation comprises Council chair Bhattarai, tourism entrepreneurs Agni Kandel, Basu Tripathi and Tikaram Sapkota. They drew the government's attention towards preserving trekking routes and touristic destinations.