Around 739,000 foreigners visited Nepal in the same period last year.
Though every industry continues to reel under drastic implications of the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism sector has received a severe blow.
While the Nepali Government has planned to celebrate the year 2020 as the Nepal Tourism Year (Visit Nepal 2020) to attract at least 2 million tourists, the pandemic has halted global travel, tourism, and leisure.
According to the Department of Immigration, as many as 200,000 foreign tourists visited Nepal in the last eight months, a significant drop from 739,000 in the same period last year.
Only 199,903 foreigners have visited Nepal from January to August this year.
Moreover, the number of foreign tourists leaving Nepal is higher than the number visiting the country in the last eight months. As per DoI, 232,082 foreigners left Nepal through Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in the mentioned period.
The Nepali Tourism Board has around ten months in the current fiscal year 2020-21 to revive the tourism sector.
However, the Nepali Government has significantly slashed the budget for the current FY compared to the last fiscal.
The NTB has released a budget worth NPR 807 million for the current fiscal against NPR 1.63 billion allocated last fiscal.
“We have prepared a budget for the current fiscal year by slashing several expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Except for essential matters, we have not allocated budget for any other purpose,” said Dhananjay Regmi, CEO of NTB.
In 2019, Nepal received a total of 1.17 million foreign tourists, with the highest 209,611 from India, followed by 169,543 from China.
The tourists from the US stood at 93,196; UK 61,139; Sri Lanka 55,869; France 30,644; South Korea 29,679 and Spain 19,057.
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