October 4: A slight improvement has been seen in arrival of tourists in the country in recent days. The positive impact in tourist arrival is due to the new visa arrangements that the government has announced for the foreign tourists amidst the risk of COVID-19.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) said this positive impact is seen in tourist arrival after the government made arrangements for the 'on-arrival visa' especially to the foreign tourists.
The statistics shared by the Board shows that the arrival of foreign tourists has increased nearly by two times in September. Almost 10 thousand tourists have arrived in Nepal in September compared to around 5,000 tourists who had visited the country in August.
A total of 9,974 foreign tourists visited Nepal in September, according to the NTB. Meanwhile, 6,942 foreign tourists left Nepal in the review month. This figure includes only the tourists who entered Nepal via air route. Altogether, 5,919 foreign tourists had arrived in Nepal in August.
The new arrangement made by the government for the foreign tourists has had a positive impact on tourist arrivals, which has slightly improved, NTB Director Maniraj Lamichhane said.
"The provision of on-arrival visa for foreign tourists has attracted the tourists and their arrival has increased. Based on this, the arrival of foreign tourists will likely increase in the coming season," he added.
Seventy six thousand nine hundred thirteen foreign tourists entered Nepal in the last nine months of 2021. This figure is from January to September.
The tourism sector was hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic with a sharp fall in the number of tourist arrivals. Only 548 foreign tourists arrived in Nepal in September 2020 whereas 92,604 foreign tourists had visited Nepal in September of 2019.
A Cabinet meeting on September 21 has approved on-arrival visas for foreign tourists visiting Nepal on condition that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The same meeting also removed the provision for tourists to stay at hotel quarantine.
According to the NTB, the number of foreign tourists visiting Nepal drastically dropped to 230,000 in 2020 from 1,197,191 in 2019. COVID-19 is blamed for the situation. -- RSS