On 11 April, 141 Canadians were flown out from Kathmandu on Qatar Airways, but for some the $3,000 price tag for a one-way economy ticket to Toronto was not worth it, considering uncertain times even back home. The New Zealand consulate also repatriated 27 nationals on 1 April, but twice as many Kiwis have decided to stay on in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other parts of Nepal.
“Canada took too long to repatriate its people and tickets were too expensive,” says 38-year-old Daniel Valdizan, an English-language professor in China who came to Nepal after universities there shut down in early January.
He adds: “Most of us who chose to stay back agree that people here have been nothing but friendly and understanding to tourists, and I don’t feel unsafe here.”
Indeed, guest houses in Thamel, Pokhara, Bandipur and other tourist spots have offered subsidised room rates and even free food for stranded tourists. Many have posted videos on YouTube full of praise for Nepali hospitality. The Department of Immigration has also said foreigners on tourist visas will not be fined for overstaying when they leave.