India leads Nepal tourism with huge visitor footfalls in the Himalayan nation


India has emerged as Nepal’s top inbound tourist market in February, the tourism authority of the country shared last week, as the key sector in the Himalayan nation is gradually witnessing recovery from the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.

Of the total 97,426 tourists arriving in the country by air route last month, 25,578 were from India, followed by China with 9,180 and the US with 9,089 visitors, according to data published by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

Thailand is in fourth place with 4,799 inbound visitors, while the UK and Bangladesh ranked fifth and sixth in the list with 4,571 and 4,099 tourists respectively.

According to NTB director Mani Lamichhane, though the data showed over 25,000 Indians visiting Nepal in February, the actual number is much higher as a large number of tourists from India visited the country via land route.

In January, Nepal received 18,041 visitors from India, reported The Telegraph. The number of tourists arriving via air route in Nepal in February is 33 per cent up from February 2023, which witnessed the arrival of 73,255 visitors. As compared to 2019, the pre-Covid-19 period, it was a 95.12 per cent recovery. The number of tourists arriving in Nepal in February 2019 was 1,02,423, the NTB said.

Nepal’s tourism sector, which was badly affected by Covid-19, is expected to revive in 2024, and the February data is a positive indication, NTB director Lamichhane said. As the tourism season starts after March, the number of visitors will significantly increase from next month, he said.

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