Nepal’s outbound spending surpasses inbound revenue

Published On: May 18, 2024 07:40 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 18: The expenditure incurred by Nepalis traveling abroad is almost two and a half times more than the amount brought in by foreign tourists.

Tourism is considered a potential avenue to strengthen Nepal's economy. The government is actively moving forward with plans to increase revenue and employment opportunities through increased tourist arrivals. However, tourism has not yet emerged as the primary sector driving Nepal's economy.

According to the latest data released by the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), foreign tourists contributed an equivalent of Rs 60.45 billion to Nepal’s economy by mid-April in the current fiscal year 2023/24. This is 40 percent more than the same period last year.

In recent months, there has been a rise in the number of foreign tourists entering Nepal. As a result, the amount of money brought in by these visitors, known as tourism income, has also increased.

However, tourism income constitutes only a small portion of Nepal's total foreign exchange earnings. The main source of Nepal's foreign exchange income is the remittances sent by Nepalis who have migrated abroad for employment.

Until mid-April of this year, Nepalis abroad have sent remittances worth Rs 1.82 trillion to Nepal. In comparison, the income from tourism accounts for only 5.6 percent of Nepal's total foreign exchange earnings.

The amount spent by Nepalis traveling abroad for various purposes, including jobs, surpasses what foreigners spend when they visit Nepal. According to the NRB, as of mid-April, Nepalis have taken Rs 143 billion abroad for foreign trips.

This amount is not solely for travel expenses. Out of this, Rs 95.85 billion is designated for Nepalis pursuing foreign studies. Compared to last year, spending on foreign travel has increased by 42.5 percent this year.

In the initial nine months of this year, Nepal has allocated about Rs 54.50 billion for air travel expenses. Nepalis have utilized this amount to purchase tickets from international air service companies for their foreign travel.

According to the NRB, Nepal's foreign exchange reserves are consistently rising due to the continuous growth in remittances. As of mid-April, Nepal's foreign exchange reserves have surged to 14.36 billion US dollars, marking a 22.7 percent increase compared to mid-July of the previous fiscal year.

The current foreign exchange reserves of the country are adequate to sustain imports of goods and services for a period of 12.5 months. This indicates that the country possesses sufficient foreign exchange reserves.

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