Empty Immigration Counters at TIA greet Chinese Tourists

At a time when Nepal is gearing itself for VISIT NEPAL 2011, news such as this can be disheartening to all Nepalis. Passengers coming to the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) from Guangzhou, China on a China Southern flight were surprised to find the immigration counters at the arrival terminal empty at 9:15 pm on Monday. They had to wait for about half an hour for immigration officers to arrive. Apparently, there were no security guards either.

Think about the impression the visitors got from this. Would they want to return to Nepal in the future? It is true that China Southern, which was scheduled to arrive at 10 pm, had landed at TIA at 9:15 pm without informing the authorities concerned.

Airport officials stated that the immigration staff had probably gone for their meals outside the Golden Gate because the eatery inside the airport was closed for the evening. The one run by Hotel Radisson is too expensive for airport staff. The excuse with the guards was that they might have been resting as they did not expect the flight to arrive at that particular time.

What a shame! Why can't the airport open up a couple of eateries at the Airport which are affordable to airport staff as well as travelers?

Where else but Nepal would you expect this to happen?