RASUWA, Dec 24: More than 30,000 foreign tourists entered Nepal over the first 11 months of 2019 through the Rasuwagadhi border point.
According to Immigration Office, Rasuwagadhi, 30,517 Chinese and foreign tourists used the northern border crossing to enter Nepal till November of 2019. In the same period last year, 28,592 had entered Nepal through the border point, data compiled by Immigration Office, Rasuwagadhi, shows.
Ganesh Bhandari, an information officer at Immigration Office, Rasuwagadhi, said the number of tourists entering Nepal from Rasuwagadhi is on the rise. "Most of the tourists travel to Kathmandu, Pokhara and Lumbini," he added. "About 70% of tourists entering Nepal through Rasuwagadhi border are Chinese nationals."
While most of the Chinese tourists use Nepali vehicles from the border point to travel to Kathmandu or other cities, some are self-driving tourists.
According to Bhandari, tourists from 52 countries entered Nepal from the border point in the review period. Most of the tourists are from China, the US, Slovakia, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, and Australia, data shows.
The government provides gratis visa for visitors from China and SAARC nations except Afghanistan.
Rasuwagadhi was designed international border crossing in 2015. Before that, only Chinese nationals could enter Nepal from Rasuwagadhi.
According to the office, Chinese tourists are given 30-day visa. Most of the Chinese tourists collect Nepali visa from Nepalese consulates in Lhasa and Guangzhou. Only around 10% of tourists apply for visa at Rasuwagadhi.
The immigration office provides on-arrival visa to tourists from all the countries except Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Swaziland, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Syria.
The office has arranged kiosks to facilitate tourists applying for visas at Rasuwagadhi. Tourists can fill up visa application forms by using the kiosks, according to the office.