15,000 tourists visit Nepal during expedition season in March, Indians tops list
Nearly 15,000 tourists visited Nepal in March as the spring expedition season has started in earnest. A total of 32,997 tourists visited Nepal in the first three months of 2021, with the March arrivals nearly matching the cumulative arrivals of the earlier two months.
According to the Department of Immigration, nearly 15,000 tourists arrived in the country in March. This is the highest number of tourists entering the country in the last year, according to the Himalayan Times.
Nepal earns more than US$ 2 billion from the tourism sector, a good majority coming from mountaineering.
The number of tourists visiting the country had dropped drastically after the government imposed the nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus on March 24 last year.
According to the department, 11,002 men, 3,363 women, and 12 'other gender' tourists visited Nepal in March.
Before the lockdown, up to 150,000 tourists used to visit Nepal during the expedition season. However, officials are hopeful that tourist arrivals will gradually increase in the weeks to come.
India continued to be Nepal's top source of tourists in the first three months of 2021 also.
During March, around 7,658 tourists visited Nepal from India alone. Tourist arrivals from India have rebounded better than from other countries, officials said.
In January and February, around 8,791 tourists from India had visited the country. The United States was the second-highest source country for tourists.
In March alone, 1,703 tourists arrived from the United States.
China ranked in the third place, with 1,207 tourists arriving from the northern neighbour. The UK came in fourth with 665 tourists, while 568 tourists arrived from Bangladesh.
Officials said that till April 4, the department had issued expedition permits to 217 mountaineers. Among them, the highest number of climbers - 138 - have received permits for Mt Everest.