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The tourism and hospitality industry is directly impacted by the social and economic condition of the region. Domestic or international tourist generally would not like to be in a place for vacation or work where there is tension in the political scenario or is hit by any kind of natural disaster (Ulak 2015).
The disaster event that is going to be discussed in the report is based on the Earthquake that had shaken the entire country as well as some of the countries which encompass the border of Nepal. On April 25th 2015, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8, struck the country, the epicenter was in the capital Kathmandu (Britannica.com 2018). Not only the disaster wreck havoc on the infrastructure and livelihood of people, but also took several lives and has severely injured many more. There were two massive aftershocks recorded at magnitudes 6.6 and 6.7, this took place within one hour of the main shake (Britannica.com 2018). However, there was another massive aftershock on May 12 with a magnitude of 7.3. This resulted in the death of a number of people and injuring more than 1900. Geologists say that thrust faulting (i.e., compression-driven fracturing) in the Indus-Yarlung suture zone is the result of the earthquake (Britannica.com 2018). Tourism accounts to be one of the major industries to contribute towards the economy of the country. It is also one of the major sources of foreign exchange and revenue. All adventure seekers and mountain lovers hope to visit Nepal as there are a number of base points to the Himalayan range in the country (Wttc.org 2018).
The disaster that is being discussed is natural and thus it cannot be averted by any means however, what companies involved in this industry should take care of are the precaution and the rescue or mitigation action. There are four kinds of impact that natural disaster leave behind: direct, indirect, quantitative damage with tangible effects and qualitative damage with intangible effects. The governments of all the country are responsible for developing disaster management and mitigation rules. However the contribution of the companies in the tourism industry can be by participating in these management activities along with local, regional or national authoritative bodies. In 2017, 4.0 percent of the revenue of the country is based on travel and tourism industry, it is also anticipated that the country revenue from the industry is going to increase in 2018 (Wttc.org 2018). The industry also caters to the employment percentage to a significant therefore it can be said that the economy as well as the industry was severely impacted by the disaster.
The companies that operate in the industry are not responsible to look after the rules and regulations regarding any disaster management, this is the role of the government or authoritative bodies in the country. Therefore the focus of the activities that the tourism and hospitality industry undertakes should be to avoid crisis that is caused by the disaster ((Kunwar and Chand 2016). According to the yearly document released by the WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) in 2017 the industry directly supported 497,500 jobs which is around 3.2% of total employment of Nepal. On the other hand, there has been a significant amount of investment in the industry as well amounting to NPR17.3bn. Following are some of the details of the industry in Nepal.
The activities of tourism and hospitality organisations are associated with accommodation of the tourists, food, transportation, management of the trip, guiding in managing the trip etc are some of the primary activities (Kunwar and Chand 2016). The service segments in this industry are divided in four categories: food and beverage, lodging, recreation, and travel and tourism. For a hotel, the activities that they serve in the industry cater to the food and beverage as well as accommodation. In order to play their part in disaster management the companies in the region have a significant role to play (Kunwar and Chand 2016).
The Nepal's National DRR Policy & Strategic Action Plan: 2017-2030, state the guidelines for organisations to act during the event of any disaster. The principles of this action plan are to reducing the risks, understanding the impact of various disasters and risks associated, and developing partnership with authoritative bodies and making the process of development of risk mitigation mainstream (Kunwar and Limbu 2015).
According to the disaster risk reduction and management Act 2014, focuses on protecting the lives of the people as well as property and heritage it also provides guidelines for minimizing the disaster risk. The construction of an establishment plays an important role while evaluating the risks that are associated with disasters like earthquake (Tsai and Chen 2011). The National Building Code NBC 203-204: 2015, in the country specifies guidelines for the public buildings to be constructed in an earthquake-resilient building to increase their resistance (Joshi and Joshi 2018). Not only that the collapse of the building can also be anticipated with the help of architectural knowledge and technology, thus while construction of the public places these aspects should be kept in mind. However it has been found that almost 93 percent of the buildings are constructed not following these guidelines. This also provides for the number of emergency exists and installation of the alarm (Picard 2011).
The stakeholders who are involved in the policy are:
Owners: these are the people who are responsible for construction of the building and thus must be aware of the codes and guideline of the country before initiating the construction.
Managers: the management is responsible for drawing up a risk management plan and developing a partnership with government and authoritative bodies.
Employees: responsible for following the protocols
Government: to provide help and support and to be a part of the protocol in necessary times. There must be a time in which the government support must arrive at the place of emergency.
Customers: be aware of the risk management plans that are usually used in the organisation of the industry. The customers should also follow the directions of the employees in emergency case and should try not to panic.
From the above analysis it can be said that the key stakeholders in this case are the government and the business. The government of a country is responsible for taking special measures in case there is an emergency case and by aligning the policies of disaster management, the business can ensure that they get the support as fast as possible. The priority of the business as well as the government is to take care of the people weather they are domestic tourists or international tourists. The government also has a number of codes and guidelines that has to be adhered by the business organizations in this industry in order to reduce the impact of such unexpected disasters.
It can be conclude from the above discussion that the tourism and hospitality industry is impacted by any kind of natural disaster. The policy focuses on the safety of the people and on rescue and evacuation from the premises as it has been stated a number of times that people should be out on the streets during the time of earthquake in order to be safe form the rubbles and collapse of the building. The policy that has been drafted also focuses on construction of the buildings as natural disasters cannot be averted but with the help of technology and science constructions can be made in a way that the structure can withstand the shock of the event in this case the earthquake.
The companies that operate in this industry can collaborate with government and authoritative bodies in the development of plans and organize a methodology that should be followed in case there is an emergency situation, in case of a natural disaster like earthquake the company should have strategies (Dixit et al. 2013). In order to deal with the issues the government and these organizations must come up with a coordinated disaster management plans so that the guests are safe and secure during such crisis situations (Dixit et al. 2013).
A recommendation for the policy is to ensure that the buildings or any kind of construction that is made is adhered by the codes and guidelines laid down by the government.
Britannica.com 2018. Nepal earthquake of 2015. [online] britannica.com. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Nepal-earthquake-of-2015 [Accessed 23 Sep. 2018].
Dixit, A.M., Yatabe, R., Dahal, R.K. and Bhandary, N.P., 2013. Initiatives for earthquake disaster risk management in the Kathmandu Valley. Natural hazards, 69(1), pp.631-654.
Joshi, G.R. and Joshi, N.B., 2018. Economic loss from earthquake in Nepal and strategies for recovery and resilience building. In Living Under the Threat of Earthquakes (pp. 195-209). Springer, Cham.
Kunwar, R.R. and Chand, U., 2016. Natural Disaster and Heritage Tourism: A Study on the Impacts of Earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Education, 6, pp.1-39.
Kunwar, R.R. and Limbu, B., 2015. Tourism and Earthquake: A Case Study of Nepal and Turkey. In Building Better Tourism with Renewed Strength, XXth NATTA Convention (pp. 16-31).
Picard, M., 2011. Analysis of Legislation related to Disaster Risk Reduction in Nepal.
Ritchie, B.W., Crotts, J.C., Zehrer, A. and Volsky, G.T., 2014. Understanding the effects of a tourism crisis: The impact of the BP oil spill on regional lodging demand. Journal of Travel Research, 53(1), pp.12-25.
Sanderson, D. and Ramalingam, B., 2015. NEPAL EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE: Lessons for operational agencies. The active learning network for accountability and performance in Humanitarian action ALNAP. 56(3), pp.184-193
Tsai, C.H. and Chen, C.W., 2011. The establishment of a rapid natural disaster risk assessment model for the tourism industry. Tourism Management, 32(1), pp.158-171.
Ulak, N., 2015. Nepal's Earthquake-2015: Its Impact on Various Sectors. The Gaze: Journal of Tourism and Hospitality, 7, pp.58-86.
Wendelbo, M., La China, F., Dekeyser, H., Taccetti, L., Mori, S., Aggarwal, V., Alam, O., Savoldi, A. and Zielonka, R., 2016. The crisis response to the Nepal earthquake: Lessons learned. European Institute for Asian Studies. Brussels, Belgium: Author, pp. 85-120.
Wttc.org 2018. TRAVEL & TOURISM ECONOMIC IMPACT 2017 NEPAL. [online] Wttc.org. Available at: https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/countries-2017/nepal2017.pdf [Accessed 23 Sep. 2018].
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