I’m a bit late on this news, as it was actually released last week, but it is definitely worth mentioning none the less. Miyamoto International, the engineering firm hired by the Nepali government to inspect the damage done from the April 25 earthquake, has indicated that the Khumbu Valley region of the country is safe and ready to welcome travelers. The report follows a similar one from a few weeks back when Miyamoto also declared the Annapurna region safe as well.
Inspectors trekked throughout the Khumbu region visiting 15 different villages and examining more than 700 different buildings there. They found that 83% of the structures were completely safe, and mostly unaffected by the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked the country, claiming more than 9000 lives in the process. Furthermore, Miyamoto says that of the buildings that were damaged, most are repairable as well, and those repairs are taking place now.
This news comes just a month or so before the start of the fall trekking season, which typically gets underway in September following the departure of the monsoon. And this autumn there will be a concerted effort from the outdoor and adventure travel industry to drive traffic back to Nepal. Tourism is seen as a key method for rebuilding the economy there and getting the country back on track, so it will be vitally important to get travelers back into the country and spending their money with local businesses.
Whether or not trekkers and climbers return in large numbers remains to be seen. Nepal’s reputation as a safe destination has taken quite a hit over the past year and a half, and many will probably stay away due to concerns about the country’s infrastructure, which was fragile before the earthquake. Now, important resources are being applied to rebuilding and updating that infrastructure, which has the potential to be much better than ever before.
If you’ve been thinking about taking a trip to Nepal but have been putting it off, now might be the best time. Not only will you likely find plenty of good deals for trekking and climbing, but it is also likely that the trails will be less crowded too. Go now, and experience everything this amazing country has to offer.
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