Nepal receives more than 300,000 foreign visitors in last four months

Published On: May 3, 2023 08:00 AM NPT By: Samiksha Shrestha

KATHMANDU, May 3: In the last four months, there has been a sharp improvement in the arrival of tourists in Nepal with 326,528 foreign visitors. In the month of April alone, around 35,443 tourists from SAARC countries have entered Nepal. According to the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) there has been a huge improvement in the arrival as a total of 98,773 international visitors have entered Nepal in April 2023. The number was 61,589 in the year 2022.

Among the tourists who arrived in April, 43.4 percent of them were from SAARC countries. A total of 31,437 Indian tourists entered the country in the review month. Similarly, 2,217 were from Bangladesh, 747 from Sri Lanka, 423 from Pakistan, and 619 from Bhutan.

Likewise, 436.6 percent of the tourists were from other Asian countries, 45.0 percent were from Europe, 47.8 percent from Oceania, 19.9 percent were from the Americas and 64.6 percent were from other countries.

Most of the tourists who entered Nepal in the month of April were from India. In the second place, there were American tourists with 8,413 arriving here. The UK stood in the third place with a total of 5,409 visitors. Similarly, a total of 4,770 tourists entered Nepal from China in the fourth place, and 3,828 foreign guests arrived here from Australia.

According to the data maintained by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), 99,426 foreign tourists visited Nepal in March 2023. The influx of foreign tourists has increased since the beginning of the year 2023. A total of 55,074 tourists visited Nepal in January, and 73,255 in February.

Arrival of Chinese visitors increasing sharply

A significant number of Chinese tourists have started visiting Nepal, which was almost stopped for around three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chinese government has included Nepal in its list of destinations for its citizens and travel agencies have started selling packages to Chinese tourists for Nepal visit from March 15.

Before that, China did not include Nepal among the 20 countries where its citizens were allowed to travel. However, by publishing the updated list, Nepal was also included in the travel destination. Tourism entrepreneurs have said that there has been some improvement in the arrival of Chinese tourists to Nepal since then.

According to Maniraj Lamichhane, director of NTB, a total of 1,436 Chinese guests entered Nepal last January. In the previous year, there were only 352 Chinese tourists, to which 1255.1 percent increase has been seen in tourist arrivals from China in April 2023 alone. The figure in the month of February was 2,266.

Amit Raj Panta, a hospitality professional and former area general manager at OYO, said, “As this is the season of traveling, we are witnessing an increasing number of tourists. Also, as the risk of Covid-19 is decreasing, tourists feel safe to travel. As a result, we can be optimistic for further improvement in tourism.”

Nepal's tour operators, tourism entrepreneurs, and the government have a chance to capitalize on the growing number of tourists and promote Nepal as a secure and appealing destination for visitors. They said if stakeholders and lawmakers work together to maximize the benefits for the tourism industry, the tourists will arrive in greater numbers.

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