Foreign tourist arrivals this February rose 33 percent compared to February 2023 arrivals

Published On: March 1, 2024 08:00 PM NPT By: Santosh Pokharel

POKHARA, March 1: Nearly 100,000 foreign visitors entered Nepal in February 2024, which is a 33 percent increment compared to February 2023. According to the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), as many as 97,426 foreign guests arrived in Nepal via air travel alone in February 2024.

According to the NTB, only 73,255 foreign guests had visited Nepal in February 2023. Mani Raj Lamichhane, director of the NTB, informed Republica that 97,426 tourists entered Nepal by air this February, which is an improvement of 33 percent.

According to Lamichhane, the year 2019 saw the highest number of tourists. Compared to February of 2019, this time there is a 95 percent improvement, he said. In 2019, the highest number of foreign tourists entered Nepal. In February 2019 alone, 102,423 foreign tourists entered Nepal.

In the following years, the arrival of foreign guests decreased due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The tourism sector affected by the Covid-19 pandemic was even more affected in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Lamichhane said that 9,266 people entered Nepal in February 2020, only 8,874 in February 2021 and 16,795 in February 2022.

"As the tourist season begins in March, we anticipate even higher arrivals in the coming months,” he said. "If we had expanded the international market, this number could have increased even more, but as of now, further growth seems unlikely," Lamichhane added.

He also said that according to the initial estimates, the tourism sector affected by the Covid-19 pandemic will revive only after 2024. Lamichhane said, "We are optimistic that arrivals in the coming months will surpass the current figures." 

In February, Indian nationals comprised the largest share of foreign arrivals in Nepal, with 25,578 Indian guests entering the country. Following Indians, the next largest group was Chinese tourists, numbering 9,180. American tourists also made a significant contribution, with 9,089 arrivals in February.

The data also shows that tourists from Thailand (4,799), the United Kingdom (4,571), Bangladesh (4,099), Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, and Germany contributed to the total tourist arrivals. Lamichhane said, “The actual number of Indian arrivals might be even higher as many Indian guests also enter Nepal via land routes.”



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