Nepal, the land of Himalayan wonders and cultural treasures, is experiencing a remarkable resurgence in its tourism sector, setting new records for international arrivals in 2023. As we delve into the exciting details, it’s evident that Nepal is once again becoming a must-visit destination for travelers worldwide.
The surge in tourist arrivals is being attributed to a number of factors, including the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the improvement of security in the country, and the increasing popularity of Nepal as a tourist destination.
The year 2023 has been a historic one for Nepal’s tourism industry. A staggering total of 809,678 international tourists graced the nation’s borders in the first ten months of the year. This impressive figure, reported by the Nepal Tourism Board, reflects the undying charm and appeal of our breathtaking country. This number is not just a statistic; it represents a beacon of hope for Nepal’s tourism industry. The resilience of the sector shines through as it recovers to nearly pre-pandemic levels.
The journey to this incredible recovery is best witnessed through a month-by-month exploration of the data:
January: The year kicked off with 55,074 visitors, setting the tone for a promising year ahead.
February: In February 2023, Nepal witnessed a surge in tourist arrivals, with India, the USA, and China leading the charge. China’s decision to allow its citizens to travel abroad made a notable impact on Nepal’s tourism. A total of 73,255 tourists explored Nepal in February, setting a positive tone for the year.
March: March 2023 marked a significant milestone with 99,426 foreigners arriving in Nepal via the air route. This achievement is especially noteworthy as it comprises a staggering 78% of the tourist arrivals recorded in March of 2019, signaling a powerful resurgence.
April: In April 2023, nearly 100,000 foreign tourists flocked to Nepal, marking a strong recovery compared to previous years. A total of 98,773 international visitors explored the country during this period, showcasing a remarkable increase from 2022’s 61,589 arrivals. While Nepal has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, with 109,399 tourists in April 2019, this surge is undoubtedly a positive sign for the nation’s tourism sector. Indian tourists led the way in April, with 31,437 visitors, followed closely by the United States with 8,413 arrivals. The United Kingdom secured the third spot with 5,409 British tourists exploring Nepal’s wonders.
May: Even as the monsoon season approached, Nepal welcomed 77,703 visitors in May, showcasing the year-round beauty of the country.
June: The fiscal year 2022/23 commenced on a high note, with a total of 72,250 foreign tourists visiting Nepal in June 2023. India, the United States, and China emerged as the top three sources of visitors, underscoring the country’s appeal as a diverse and captivating destination.
July: In July, the number of tourists reached 57,726, with Indian tourists leading the way.
August: The resurgence continued in August, with 67,153 visitors, reflecting Nepal’s commitment to welcoming travelers from around the world.
September: In September 2023, Nepal received 91,012 foreign tourists, with India contributing the most visitors (28,694), followed by China (8,174), the largest number of Chinese tourists to visit Nepal since the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States (7,364) and Bangladesh (3,716) ranked third and fourth, respectively.
October: Nepal attracted 117,306 tourists in October 2023, the Nepal Tourism Board confirmed. India had the highest number of tourists visiting Nepal in October 2023 (18,480), followed by the United States (14,879) and the United Kingdom (8,217).
Of the total tourists, 42,806 were from Asia, 36,653 from Europe, 6,618 from Australia and New Zealand, 17,322 from North America, and 13,907 from the Middle East and other regions.
Visitors from SAARC countries
India, a close neighbor, has been a consistent source of visitors to Nepal, but tourists from other Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, are also exploring Nepal’s beauty.
One of the remarkable aspects of this tourism surge is the diversity of the sources. Visitors are arriving from various corners of the globe. Notably, tourists from South Korea, Japan, the United States, Canada the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Australia, and many more countries are choosing Nepal as their preferred destination.
Chinese tourism on the rise
Chinese tourists, in particular, are making their presence felt, with their numbers steadily increasing in Nepal.
A promising future
The Nepali government has set a target of attracting one million foreign tourists in 2023. However, so far, only 809,678 foreign tourists have visited Nepal. As Nepal’s tourism industry continues to rebound, hopes are high for a strong finish to the year. The mountaineering and trekking season, coupled with Nepal’s unmatched natural beauty and cultural heritage, is expected to attract even more visitors. While challenges remain, such as the recent ban on solo trekking, the spirit and allure of Nepal continue to captivate travelers from across the globe.
This resurgence is not just a numerical achievement; it’s a testament to Nepal’s enduring allure and the unwavering spirit of its people. The country’s tourism sector is back on its feet and ready to welcome the world, inviting travelers to embark on unforgettable journeys amidst the Himalayan splendor and vibrant culture.
Source: Nepal Tourism Board