January 3, 2020 02:05 PM NPT
THINI, MUSTANG, Jan 3: Over 57,000 foreigners have visited Mustang district in 2019. According to the chief of Jomsom Office of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Tulasi Dahal, a total of 57,565 foreigners arrived in Mustang in 2019.
ACAP has been maintaining records of foreigners visiting Mustang district from its offices at Jomsom and Kagbeni. However, the number of tourists visiting the Mustang district in 2019 has decreased compared to the previous year. In 2018, altogether 59,838 visitors had reached the Himalayan district. Ram Bahadur Gurung, a hotelier from Lho Mananthang, argued that change of the trekking route into the motorable road and fee hike in Upper Mustang is to blame for a decrease in tourists' arrival. Indian tourists make the largest portion of visiting Muktinath, a common religious destination for both the Hindus and Buddhists. Records reveal that the visitors from SAARC countries have increased while the arrival of the visitors from the western countries in on the decline. Nearly, 4,000 tourists have visited Upper Mustang, 'the semi-prohibited zone', during the review period.