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Nepal, known for its breathtaking landscapes, towering peaks, and rich cultural heritage, has long been a favoured destination for global tourists. September 2023 witnessed a commendable rise in tourist arrivals by air, revealing a promising picture of the tourism sector’s resilience and revival.
A Glimpse into the Figures
According to the NTB, in September 2023, the number of tourists that arrived in Nepal by air was a staggering 91,012. This shows a significant growth compared to the previous years:
- 2023: 91,012
- 2022: 58,314
- 2021: 9,907
- 2020: 584
- 2019: 92,604
The numbers from 2020 and 2021 underscore the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global travel industry, particularly on Nepal’s tourism sector. However, the data from 2023 indicates a remarkable recovery, bringing the sector almost at par with the 2019 levels.
Moreover, the departure figures for September 2023 were reported at 69,422, whereas the cumulative number of tourists from January to September stood at an impressive 6,92,372.
When comparing the tourist arrival figures of 2023 to those of 2019, one of Nepal’s pre-pandemic peak years for tourism, the revival rate is a notable 98.28%.
Leading Tourist Generating Countries
The top 10 nations from where tourists arrived in Nepal in September 2023 are:
- India: 28,694
- China: 8,174
- USA: 7,364
- Bangladesh: 3,716
- Australia: 3,685
- United Kingdom: 3,640
- Sri Lanka: 3,011
- Germany: 2,852
- South Korea: 2,018
- Israel: 1,734
With its proximity and cultural ties, India continued to lead the chart, followed by China and the USA. The diversity in the list of top 10 countries is a testament to Nepal’s universal appeal, drawing visitors from different parts of the world.
Rekindling the Tourism Flame
Several factors contributed to this resurgence in tourist arrivals:
- Health and Safety Protocols: With the successful rollout of vaccines and robust health protocols, tourists feel more confident about travelling.
- Promotional Campaigns: Nepal’s government, in collaboration with various tourism bodies, launched numerous promotional campaigns to attract visitors.
- Pent-up Demand: After prolonged lockdowns and travel restrictions, there is a significant demand for travel and experiences, with Nepal being a top choice for nature and adventure seekers.
- Diversified Tourism Offerings: Beyond trekking and mountaineering, Nepal has been promoting its cultural, religious, and wellness tourism offerings.
The swift rebound of tourist arrivals in Nepal is a beacon of hope for the country’s tourism sector. With continued efforts, collaboration between governmental bodies and tourism stakeholders, and ongoing promotional campaigns, Nepal is well on its path to not just recovery but possibly even exceeding its past tourism records.
Nepal’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of its tourists, coupled with its unparalleled natural and cultural offerings, will undeniably see the nation shine as a leading global tourist destination.