Nepal's March Tourism Surges: 28.90% Year-on-Year Increase in Foreign Arrivals

Tue, Apr 2, 2024 12:57 PM on Economy, National, Featured,

Nepal's tourism industry is witnessing a remarkable resurgence, evident in the notable surge of foreign tourist arrivals via air routes during the month of March. According to the latest data from the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), March witnessed a significant 28.90% increase in foreign visitor arrivals compared to the same period last year.

In March alone, Nepal welcomed a record-breaking 128,167 tourists from various countries, marking the highest monthly influx in the past four years. In March 2023, the figure stood at 99,426. These figures exclusively pertain to air arrivals and do not include tourists entering Nepal through land routes. Over the first quarter of the year (January-March), Nepal has welcomed a cumulative total of 304,693 air travelers. January witnessed 79,100 arrivals, while February recorded 97,426 visitors, further underscoring the positive trajectory of tourism resurgence.

Maniraj Lamichhane, Director of the Nepal Tourism Board, views this surge as a promising sign of sectoral recovery following the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tourism industry, which faced significant setbacks since 2020, is now witnessing tangible growth, signaling renewed confidence among travelers.

Traditionally, the months of March, April, and May mark peak tourism activity in Nepal, drawing enthusiasts for trekking and mountain climbing adventures. In March, the largest contingent of tourists hailed from India, totaling 30,698 visitors—an increase from 25,911 recorded in the same period last year. Additionally, Chinese visitor numbers rose by 4.59% to reach 12,093 arrivals.

Among visitors from third countries, notable arrivals include 10,763 individuals from the USA, 7,241 from Britain, 5,741 from Sri Lanka, and 5,255 from Germany. The government's target of welcoming over 1 million tourists in 2023 appears promising, following the successful achievement of the same milestone in 2022.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Nepal's tourism resilience is evident, with visitor numbers rebounding significantly from the lows of 2020 and 2021. The upward trajectory witnessed in 2022 is now further reinforced by the encouraging start to 2023, highlighting the enduring allure of Nepal's picturesque landscapes and cultural heritage on the global stage.