KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 3
The coronavirus pandemic put a huge dampener on the government’s aim to welcome two million tourists starting 2020, with the number of arrivals shrinking to merely around 200,000 in the first 11 months of this year.
According to the Department of Immigration (DoI), a total of 220,120 tourists arrived here by air in the last 11 months. Before the COVID-19 pandemic spread, the highest number of tourists had arrived in between January to March. However, soon after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown in the country from March 24, tourist arrivals were halted in the country. Thereafter only under special condition foreigners were allowed to come to Nepal via chartered flights.
The report has, however, revealed that after the government lifted restrictions on tourist arrivals from October 17, the number of tourists entering the country is gradually increasing. As per the department, a total of 1,947 tourists arrived in Nepal via air route in the month of November alone. Meanwhile, in October a total of 1,874 tourists had arrived.
In November, the highest number of tourists — 447 — arrived from America, while United Kingdom came in second with arrival of 295 tourists. While 209 tourists from China, 123 Indian tourists arrived here in the review month.
While the flights on Nepal-India route are still halted, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has initiated the process to resume flights in the sector. However, chartered flights are being conducted under special conditions.
Amid this, 102 tourists from Russia, 58 from Canada, 37 from Japan, 35 from South Korea, 34 from Australia, 33 from France and 28 from Belgium arrived in Nepal in November.
On a monthly basis, a total of 79,686 tourists arrived in Nepal in January, 101,400 in February and 34,025 in March.
However, after the lockdown, only a few foreigners visited Nepal. As per DoI, tourist arrivals slumped to 13 in the month of April, 30 in May, 100 in June, 115 in July, 268 in August and 582 in September.
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Written by Sureis
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