Kathmandu: The arrival of Chinese tourists in Nepal has been increasing. Until the first six months of 2023 (June), American tourists ranked second after Indian nationals in terms of arrivals. In the seventh month (July), Chinese nationals have surpassed them.
According to Maniraj Lamichhane, Director of Nepal Tourism Board, in July 2023, a total of 57,726 tourists visited Nepal. Among them, 21,357 were Indian nationals, and in second place were Chinese nationals with 5,593 arrivals. The number of American tourists was reported to be 5,561.
Nepal is considered as the “off-season” for tourism during June, July, and August. Therefore, the arrivals of European and American tourists decrease during this period. Due to the scorching heat in India, many Indian tourists prefer to visit Nepal during this time.
As per tourism entrepreneurs, Chinese tourists, along with sightseeing, are also interested in adventure and outdoor activities. Hence, they consider Nepal as an “Alps-like” destination.
Last month, the first commercial chartered flight arrived at Pokhara International Airport from Chengdu, China. However, regular flights to Pokhara have not been established yet. Currently, Kathmandu is connected to more Chinese cities than Indian cities through air travel. This has been seen as a positive message for increasing the number of Chinese tourists.
In July 2023, 50 percent of the total tourists came from SAARC countries. Among them, 21,357 were from India, 26,096 from Bangladesh, 807 from Bhutan, 484 from Sri Lanka, and 372 from Pakistan.
Apart from China, South Korea had 13,075 visitors from Asian countries. Among European countries, the largest number of tourists, 3,630, came from the United Kingdom. There were 1,102 visitors from Australia, and 653 from Canada.
How many tourists arrived from China each month?
In the last seven months, a total of 534,207 tourists arrived.
In the last seven months in Nepal, 534,207 tourists arrived. Among them, 57,726 tourists arrived in July 2023. This is the total number of tourists who visited Nepal from January to July. It indicates a gradual recovery in tourist arrivals from the impact of COVID-19.
According to the data from the Director of the tourism board, in July 2019, there were 58,811 tourists who visited Nepal. The years following that were affected by the negative impact of COVID-19.
The government has set a target to attract 1 million tourists in the year 2023. The figures of tourist arrivals for the first 7 months show that achieving this target is quite challenging. To meet the government’s goal, more than 100,000 tourists need to arrive each month from now on.