Every six tourists create one job in Nepal and the tourism industry provides poor communities better access to revenues generated by the tourism market, said the Tourism Employment Survey 2014 unveiled by the Tourism Ministry on Thursday. This is the first ever survey of the tourism industry conducted in Nepal.
The study, based on 192 tourism establishments in 10 districts, showed that 797,616 tourist arrivals in Nepal led to jobs for 138,148 persons. The survey was conducted between May and June. “The ratio of tourist visits and employment generated suggests that one job was generated from every six tourist visits over a year’s period,” the survey said. However, Nepal’s tourism employment trend is much lower than the estimate of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which states that the entry of one tourist into a particular country provides employment to 12 people. “The survey has not taken into account the informal sector and is purely linked with the total arrivals and their outcome in the industry,” said Sharad Kumar Sharma, chief statistician at the ministry.
The figure revealed by the survey is also lower than the employment figure estimated by the Economic Survey 2013 which states that the tourism industry has generated 178,000 direct jobs.
“The tourism survey conducted for the first time in Nepal has given a real picture of the jobs created by the industry as there was no scientific basis to calculate the employment scenario,” said Purna Chandra Bhattarai, joint secretary at the ministry. “It will indeed help planners and policymakers to find out the real contribution of the tourism industry and take the necessary initiatives to make the industry more vibrant.”
The survey said that more than half (58 percent) of all the employees in the tourism industry were Janajati, 33 percent were Brahmin/Kshetri, 5 percent were Dalit and 3 percent were Tarai/Madhesi. Around 19 percent of the employees were highly skilled.
Women’s engagement in the tourism industry was nominal. Around 20 percent of the employees were female while 78 percent had secondary or a higher level of education. Almost 47 percent had completed intermediate level of education.
The survey said that 24 percent were only seasonal employees while 76 percent were regular employees. Most of the employees in the industry were young. According to the survey, 68 percent of the workforces was between 20 to 40 years of age.
In terms of salary, 37 percent of the workers received Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 per month while another 37 percent earned Rs 20,000 monthly. The survey showed that 26 percent of the employees were paid less than Rs 10,000 per month. The proportion of employees earning more than Rs 20,000 per month was the highest among trekking agencies (83 percent) followed by domestic airlines and international airlines.
“None of the employees in international airlines received less than Rs 10,000 per month while none of the employees in home-stay establishments received more than Rs 20,000 per month,” the survey said.
The trekking sector was the largest employer in the tourism industry followed by tourist standard hotels, travel agencies, star hotels and international airlines.
Similarly, the survey showed that 1,636 trekking agencies provided 50,004 jobs, 625 tourist standard hotels provided jobs to 26,808 people, 2,112 travel agencies provided employment to 25,238 people and 105 star-rated hotels employed 13,459 persons. Likewise, the 29 international and 15 domestic airlines operating in the country employed 12,822 and 5,903 persons respectively. Similarly, 226 home-stay establishments employed 2,738 people, 49 rafting companies employed 735 people and 60 paragliding and ultra-light companies employed 440 persons.
Data was collected from 192 tourism establishments located in Jhapa, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Chitwan, Kavre, Kaski, Banke, Kailali and Rupandehi districts.