Since the outbreak of the corona virus shows no signs of waning, many climbers have already started to cancel their expedition bookings. This gives cause for concern to tour operators, who face severe economic losses during the climbing season from March to May.
Pasang Sherpa, managing director of Pioneer Adventure Treks, said seven Chinese members of his company dropped their plans to climb the world's highest peak from Nepal's side this spring season, the Himalayan Times reported.
"Now we can hardly expect climbers from China, Iran, South Korea, Japan and some European countries, including Italy," said Damber Parajuli, President of the Expedition Operators Association Nepal, in Kathmandu on Thursday.
In addition, government unwillingness and an action plan have adversely affected the country's tourism sector.
Rishi Bhandari, general manager of Satori Adventure, said that the Everest climbing season would certainly be a major challenge if the government didn't present an immediate action plan to curb the coronavirus threat.
"At least six Italian climbers who wanted to climb Mount Everest from Tibet have already canceled their booking with my company," he said.
Sources said China will not open its Tibet route in the spring season to allow Nepalese operators to go on expeditions to Mount Everest, Cho Oyu and Sishapangma.
Nepal saw a two percent drop in tourist arrivals in the first month of the visiting season this year.
Meera Acharya, director of the Ministry of Tourism, said the government will shortly be talking to expedition operators and other agencies concerned about developing an action plan for the spring climbing season.
Last spring, the division had collected a total of Rs 495 million from Expedition Kings (Nepalese), including Rs 442 million from Everest expeditions.