Nepal’s tourism industry almost matches the pre-pandemic level, recording highest visitors in March

In 2020, just weeks before the pandemic, the government had launched the ambitious target of 2 million tourists. The plan was doomed as international travel came to a halt

Apr 04, 2022
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Nepal tourism (File)

Nepal’s tourism industry recorded a decent recovery in the past few months, with around 42,000 tourists visiting the country in March, almost matching the pre-pandemic level. However, the industry, which shrunk by almost fifty percent in 2020 following the pandemic, still awaits an aggressive promotional push from the government to exploit its full recovery potential. 

An estimated 42,oo6 tourists, about a third from India, the country’s biggest source market, visited the country in March is the highest monthly count in the last two years, almost tripling the number recorded in the same month last year, reported The Kathmandu Post. 

However, an aggressive promotional push, needed in the post-pandemic period, is yet to take off. In 2020, just weeks before the pandemic, the government had launched the ambitious target of 2 million tourists. The plan was doomed as international travel came to halt.

In March 2020, just before the lockdown was imposed, Nepal received 42, 776 tourists. The industry’s contribution to the overall gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 halved to 3.6 percent from 6.7 percent in 2019, resulting in the loss of over 200,000 jobs. Prior to the pandemic, tourism generated almost a million jobs in Nepal. 

“Recently, we have been noticing increased tourist arrivals. This is the perfect time for us to inspire our marketing teams and agency partners to help refresh our creative assets and develop a campaign to create demand for the destination,” Bijay Amatya, CEO of Kora Tours in Nepal, was quoted as saying by The Kathmandu Post.

“It's time to reach out to our international tour operators and airline partners, and start discussing how we can invest marketing resources together to get those airplane seats filled again.”

Recently, a number of countries, including India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Nepal abolished all restrictions on tourists, including vaccination requirements and PCR testings. For the Himalayan country of around 3 million, 2021 was the worst year in its four-decade of the tourism industry, with just rough 151,000 foreign tourists visiting the country. 

(SAM)

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