LAMJUNG, Sept 28: Foreign tourists' influx in Annapurna Trail has enthused the local tourism entrepreneurs. The arrival of tourists which was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and biting cold has gone up this tourist season.
Altogether 7,213 foreign tourists have visited the Annapurna Circuit since January 2022 till date, according to the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).
Similarly, 2,373 foreign tourists visited the Circuit in 2021 and 1,973 in 2020.
Pancha Bahadur Gurung, a tourism entrepreneur from Marsyangdi Rural Municipality-4 in the district, expressed joy that he was making Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 as an income on a daily basis with the increase in the number of tourists. "The arrival of tourists has made us enthusiastic."
Another entrepreneur Khus Bahadur Gurung shared that they were anxious about earning their living when foreign tourists were not coming to the Circuit. Gurung's whole family is dependent on the tourism business. Running the business means keeping the family alive for him.
ACAP's Tourist Checkpoint Dharapani's tourism assistant officer Chettra Bahadur Gurung shared that around 80-90 foreign tourists were entering Annapurna Circuit on a daily basis lately and most of them were from Israel.
The Circuit offers the trekkers panoramic views of mountain ranges, high hills and they can explore and enjoy the customs and traditions of the people of Manang. While tourists choose this Circuit to reach Thorong-La Pass, Larke Pass and Kala pass, some use this route to go to Tilicho Lake, the highest lake in the world.
The entrance of Annapurna Circuit is in Lamjung, Besisahar while the Circuit spans Manang, Kaski, Mustang and Myagdi districts.