Tourist arrivals decrease to lowest level since 1977


Tourist arrivals resumed their downward spiral in 2021, hitting their lowest level since 1977, as the coronavirus kept the industry paralyzed despite many attempts to resurrect it by loosening immigration restrictions.



Approximately 150,962 international visitors entered the country last year, according to the Nepal Tourism Board, representing a significant decrease from the 1.19 million visitors who arrived in the country before to the onset of the earthquake.

When compared to 2019, before the pandemic began spreading, the 2021 figure revealed on Sunday shows an 87 percent drop.

Tourism in Nepal suffered significant setbacks as countries increased travel restrictions in response to fresh viral outbreaks, compounding the difficulties experienced towards the close of the calendar year 2020.

In an to limit the spread of Covid-19, Nepal implemented a second lockdown on April 29 as a public health measure. The order to remain at home was revoked on September 1 after four months.

Following a flurry of publicity, Nepal had just begun an ambitious Visit Nepal Year campaign in 2020, with the goal of attracting at least 2 million visitors. However, the campaign was quickly shelved when the incipient pandemic reached epidemic proportions around the globe.

230,085 people arrived in the United States at the end of the dreadful year.

Tens of thousands of people engaged in the tourism industry were furloughed or laid off as a result of the absence of nearly all enterprises in the region.

Nandini Lahe Thapa, spokesman for Nepal Tourist Board, the country’s primary tourism organization, indicated that there was hope that the sector will rebound by 2021. “However, it was also a complete failure.” In the meantime, we’re keeping a close eye on the situation. According to Thapa, “we must concentrate on regional markets such as India and Bangladesh.”

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The 150,962 tourists that will arrive in Nepal in 2021 will be the lowest number of visitors since 1977, when the country welcomed 129,329 visitors, a year after tourist numbers in Nepal surpassed the six-digit barrier for the first time.

Nepal formed a distinct Ministry of Tourism in 1977, with the goal of promoting tourism in the country more effectively and efficiently than had previously existed.

A period of political turmoil that resulted in far-reaching changes in national life ushered in Nepal’s opening to the rest of the globe beginning in the 1950s.

When the world-renowned Thomas Cook and Sons sent a group of 60 tourists to Nepal in 1955, they were formally recognized as foreign tourists by the Nepali government. Since 1962, Nepal has kept track of the number of foreign tourists who visit the country each year.

Last year, according to the Nepal Tourism Board, India was responsible for the largest number of tourists to Nepal with 64,673 individuals, or 43 percent of all visitors. Nepal received 22,853 tourists from the United States, 8,680 tourists from the United Kingdom, and 6,196 tourists from China, placing it second after India.

An outbreak of Covid-19 infections, coupled with strict quarantine measures, drove visitors away, putting the rehabilitation process in jeopardy.

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With effect from September 23, 2021, Nepal will no longer require foreign visitors to stay in the country for seven days and will resume on- visas to all those who have been vaccinated against the Ebola virus in an to revive its virus-ravaged tourism economy.

The action, however, was criticized as being too late by tourism industry executives.

The country reopened to tourists in September, but only little more than 61,000 people visited in the country’s final three months of 2018. Tourist arrivals had increased marginally when Nepal reopened its doors to visitors in September, but they were still significantly lower than they had been before to the earthquake.

As Ashok Pokharel, head of the Nepal Association of Tour Operators, told the Post, “Based on the current trend and the new variation Omicron, a recovery to pre-pandemic levels is likely only in 2024.” Nepal’s dismal marketing efforts have further distanced the country from any chance of a comeback.

Prior to the of Covid, the travel and tourism industry contributed approximately 8% of the country’s gross domestic product and supported more than 1.05 million jobs, directly and indirectly. Travel and tourism businesses were the hardest hit when travel restrictions were implemented in late March of 2020.

Global travel may be disrupted once more due to the recently identified Covid-19 variant Omicron, which has sparked worries of a new pandemic.

Assuming that the entire population has been immunized by April of this year, as is anticipated, Nepal may be able to welcome international visitors after that. At the time of this writing, 34% of the country’s 30 million people have had their full vaccinations, according to the Health Ministry.

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There have been reports of a shortage of vaccines in the country, and the administration has stated that it aims to begin administering booster doses soon.

Despite the fact that tourists are willing to travel in 2022, according to a senior travel entrepreneur, they will face a significant increase in travel costs. “Everything is quite high and expensive, from airline ticket pricing to hotel rates.”

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and an economic slowdown have dealt a massive blow to Nepal’s luxury hotels, decimating revenues and profits. The industry has been left in a state of disarray, and it is still struggling to recover from the devastating effects of the epidemic.

Officials estimate that the country’s upscale hotels suffered their worst-ever losses in the most recent fiscal year, which ended in mid-July. Based on the current situation, which is primarily driven by tourist figures, the industry could take up to two years or longer to recover its pre-Covid levels.

A spike of infections, according to industry insiders, has put a damper on efforts to revive the business.

As a result, forecasting the tourism outlook has proven to be extremely challenging.” According to the information provided by the travel, trekking, and mountaineering agencies, bookings for 2022 were very strong. The majority of them have now been canceled,” explained. ”

According to the Omicron fear, the entire planet has been affected.

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