Bikash Lamsal, Nepal’s Tourist Minister stated that Indian tourists comprise the highest number of foreign travellers to the country and that is why Nepal will place special emphasis on wooing Indians once the COVID-19 related travel restrictions are lifted. Per reports, 40% of tourists who visited Pokhra, the capital city of Gandaki Pradesh in 2019 were Indians. Nepal is also celebrating 2018-2022 as Tourism Year, with the target of welcoming 2 million tourists to its breathtaking mountainous territory.
The COVID-19 pandemic which affected the global travel and tourism industry also had a severe impact on Nepal where tourism contributed Rs240.7 billion in revenue and supported more than 1.05 million jobs directly and indirectly in 2018-19. Foreign tourist arrival crossed the 1 million mark in the same period with the country registering 1.17 million tourists. Besides popular leisure destinations of Pokhara and Chitwan, the Annapurna Circuit trekking route also emerged as a favourite of adventurers.
From grand Himalayan escapades and petite hill villages to pristine monasteries, temples and ample trekking opportunities, Nepal has emerged as the favourite destination of mountain lovers. Nepal suffered a massive loss of 13 crore Nepal rupees per day due to COVID-19 and is making concerted efforts to revive its travel industry.