Nepal Sees Resurgence in Tourist Arrivals, Nearing Pre-Pandemic Levels During Peak Season

Group Tour Packages in Nepal

In 2023, tourism data reveals a surge in tourist arrivals during Nepal’s peak travel seasons, namely spring (March, April, and May) and autumn (September, October, and November). Notably, the onset of the tourist season in October has witnessed a substantial upswing in foreign tourist arrivals compared to previous years. Specifically, in October 2023, a remarkable 117,306 tourists entered Nepal by air, marking a significant milestone in the country’s post-COVID-19 recovery.

According to statistics released by the Nepal Tourism Board, the current influx of tourists during this year’s peak season is nearly on par with the levels seen in 2019, a year untouched by the pandemic. To provide context, in September 2019, a total of 113,816 tourists arrived in Nepal by air. In contrast, the arrival of tourists in October during 2020 and 2021 was notably subdued due to the adverse effects of the pandemic, which included cross-border travel restrictions, international flight bans, mandatory quarantine requirements, and vaccination prerequisites. However, there has been a discernible increase in tourist arrivals in October since 2022.

Furthermore, in 2023, the months of May and June have also experienced a surge in tourist arrivals compared to the corresponding months in 2019. Nevertheless, despite these positive trends, key players in the tourism industry, such as Khum Bahadur Subedi, the outgoing president of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), assert that the industry has yet to fully rebound to its 2019 state. Subedi predicts a return to pre-pandemic norms in 2024, attributing the sluggish recovery to global economic conditions that deter tourists from visiting during off-peak seasons.

Sajan Shakya, the general secretary of the Hotel Association Nepal (HAN), is optimistic about the continuing rise in tourist arrivals, especially until November, considered the peak season. He anticipates that Nepal will welcome an estimated 300,000 tourists during the months of September, October, and November.

The data also reveals that in October, the highest number of tourists originated from India, with a total of 18,480 Indian tourists visiting Nepal. The United States came second, contributing 14,879 tourists, followed by the the UK, 6,880 from China, 6,075 from Australia, 5,911 from Germany, 5,271 from France, 4,292 from Bangladesh, 2,507 from Sri Lanka and 2,467 from Italy in the review month. 

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