Monday, June 15, 2015

Quake-hit Nepal reopens heritage sites in bid to bring back tourists

Nepal has reopened most of the heritage sites that were damaged in a pair of strong earthquakes that devastated parts of the country recently, hoping to bring back foreign tourists.

Tourism Minister Kripasur Sherpa said six of the seven heritage sites closed after the quakes were reopened Monday.

Nepal is keen to get its tourism industry back on track as it tries to rebuild after the devastating quakes.

UNESCO had expressed some safety concerns over the reopening of some of the sites,  but Nepalese officials have insisted that the necessary measures are in place.

About 800,000 foreign tourists visit Nepal every year and the government is worried that the fear of earthquakes will stop many from visiting the Himalayan country. Tourism is a major source of revenue for the mainly agricultural nation, which is one of the poorest in the world.

The earthquakes on April 25 and May 12 killed more than 8,700 people.

Hundreds of thousands of buildings were damaged, including old temples, palaces and other historical structures that are popular with tourists.


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