Forty-four tourists from 12 countries staying at ACAP areaThe tourists who have chosen to stay back are spread around Chhingur, Jomson, Jharkot, Ghasa, Pisang, Ngawal, Taal and Dhampus, among other places.
A total of 44 tourists from 12 countries, who were visiting Nepal when the lockdown came into effect, have chosen to stay back rather than returning to their home countries. The tourists, including 25 males and 19 females, are currently staying at various hotels and homestays in Manang, Mustang and Kaski that are covered by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), the largest protected area in Nepal.
According to Rajkumar Gurung, chief of ACAP Central Office in Pokhara, when the lockdown was announced, hundreds of tourists touring the ACAP area returned home as their native countries arranged chartered flights to fly them back.
“The rest are those who don’t want to return because they feel safer here than in their home countries,” said Gurung.
The tourists who have chosen to stay back are spread around Chhingur, Jomson, Jharkot, Ghasa, Pisang, Ngawal, Taal and Dhampus, among other places.
Of the 44 tourists, 16 are Chinese natives, five Russians, four Germans, three each from Australia, France, the US and Italy, two each from Argentina and Malaysia, and one each from Japan, Philippines and Sweden, according to Rishi Baral, information officer at ACAP, Pokhara.
In late March, over 30 foreign tourists were rescued from Annapurna and Manaslu Conservation areas and were returned to their native countries. Both the areas have stopped issuing permits for trek from mid-March in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.