Tourism rebound: foreign arrivals to Nepal surge, marks strong recovery

Tourist arrival in Nepal

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s tourism industry is showing robust signs of recovery as foreign arrivals via air routes witnessed a remarkable surge last month, marking a significant milestone in the sector’s resurgence. According to the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), the number of foreign visitors in March escalated by an impressive 28.90 percent compared to the same period last year.

In March alone, Nepal welcomed 128,167 tourists from various countries through air travel, marking a record high in the past four years. This substantial increase underscores a positive trend in tourism, indicating a revitalization of the sector after enduring the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cumulative influx of air travelers for the first quarter of the year, spanning January to March, reached 304,693, further highlighting the growing momentum in Nepal’s tourism market. January recorded 79,100 arrivals, followed by 97,426 in February.

Maniraj Lamichhane, Director of the Nepal Tourism Board, hailed the notable surge in visitor numbers as a promising sign of recovery for the sector, which had been severely impacted by the pandemic since 2020.

Tourism entrepreneurs echoed Lamichhane’s sentiment, emphasizing the significance of the surge in foreign tourists during the traditional tourist season months of March, April, and May, renowned for trekking and mountain climbing activities.

India emerged as the largest contributor to Nepal’s tourist arrivals last month, with 30,698 visitors, marking a significant increase from the corresponding period last year. Additionally, Chinese visitors witnessed a notable uptick of 4.59 percent, totaling 12,093 arrivals in March.

Among visitors from third countries, notable numbers were reported from the USA (10,763), Britain (7,241), Sri Lanka (5,741), Germany (5,255), Thailand (4,567), Australia (4,345), France (3,240), and Myanmar (3,131).

The government’s efforts to revitalize the tourism sector yielded positive results, with Nepal achieving its target of welcoming over 1 million tourists in 2023.

This milestone comes after a challenging period, with tourist arrivals plummeting to 230,085 in 2020 amidst the pandemic. Subsequent years saw gradual recovery, with 2022 witnessing a significant leap in arrivals, reaching 614,148 visitors.

As Nepal continues to navigate the complexities of the global tourism landscape, stakeholders remain optimistic about sustaining this positive momentum and further bolstering the country’s position as a premier tourist destination in the region.

Fiscal Nepal |
Tuesday April 2, 2024, 11:37:12 AM |

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