More than one million tourists arrive in 2023

foreign tourists domestic tourists - tourism revival - one million tourists
Guests enjoying breakfast at Ker and Downey, a high-end tourist property, in Ghandruk. Photo: Ker and Downey

Kathmandu, December 31

More than one million tourists came to Nepal via air in 2023.

According to the statistics of the Nepal Tourism Board, 1,008,614 tourists came to Nepal as of 5 am on December 30.

With this achievement, the government has successfully met its target of drawing one million foreign tourists in 2023. The goal was outlined in the budget for the current fiscal year, highlighting the intent to boost the number of international visitors to Nepal.

The country’s tourism, severely impacted by the Covid pandemic, has nearly returned to its pre-pandemic state. According to the National Tourism Board (NTB), there has been an 85 per cent recovery in tourism this year.

In 2019, around 1.2 million foreign tourists visited the country. NTB Director Maniraj Lamichhane expressed optimism about the current scenario, stating, “The arrival of tourists this year is encouraging.” With more than 1 million tourists entering through the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, the tourism sector is showing signs of recovery.

Similarly, Binayak Shah, the President of the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), anticipates a further uptick in tourist arrivals in the days ahead. He suggests that by expanding collaboration with the private sector, the government can contribute to a future increase in the number of tourists.

It is worth noting that the government has designated 2025 as Visit Nepal Year. Additionally, the period from 2023 to 2032 is being celebrated as the tourism decade, with the ambitious goal of attracting 3.5 million tourists.

Meanwhile, there has been a notable increase in the number of Indian tourists this year. In 2019, 254,150 Indian tourists visited Nepal, whereas this year the figure has risen to 317,481. Similarly, the count of American tourists has also seen an uptick, reaching 99,985 in the current year compared to 93,241 in 2019.

Similarly, there is a gradual increase in the number of Chinese tourists, with 60,160 Chinese nationals visiting Nepal this year. In comparison, the figure was higher in 2019, with 169,543 Chinese tourists arriving in the country.

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