KATHMANDU, Feb 4: Nepal received 16,975 foreign tourists in January, a straight fall from 24,679 in a month, due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the third wave of the pandemic.
According to the Nepal Tourism Board, the figure in the past one month was, however, more than the number in the same period last year. In January 2021, only 8,874 foreigners visited Nepal.
Of the total number that Nepal welcomed last month, 32.41 percent were from the SAARC countries. While 3,916 were Indian visitors, 3,257 individuals were from the US.
A total of 1.2 million foreign tourists visited Nepal in 2019. Targeting to welcome two million foreigners, the government had announced 2020 as Visit Nepal Year, which however, faded due to spread of the pandemic. As a result, the visitors declined heavily to 150,962 individuals in 2021.
A fall in the number of COVID-19 cases following the second wave of the pandemic, the country’s tourism business was on the path of recovery. In November alone, Nepal received 26,135 foreigners. The sector, however, is hit hard again by the recent spike in cases of coronavirus in the third wave.