A slight improvement has been seen in tourist arrival in the country in recent days. The positive impact on tourist arrival is due to the new system that the government brought for the foreign tourists amidst the COVID-19 risk.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) said this positive impact is seen in tourist arrival after the government made arrangements for the 'on-arrival visa', especially for foreign tourists.
The statistics shared by the Board show that the foreign tourist arrival has increased nearly by two times in September. Nearly 10 thousand tourists have arrived in September while around 5,000 tourists had arrived in August.
Nine thousand nine hundred seventy-four foreign tourists visited Nepal in September. Six thousand 942 foreign tourists have exited Nepal in that month. This figure includes only the tourists who entered Nepal via air route. Five thousand nine hundred nineteen foreign (5,919) tourists had arrived in Nepal in August.
The new arrangement made by the government for 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 positive attraction and the tourist 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 have entered Nepal in the last nine months of 2021. This figure is from January to September.
The tourism sector was hit hard by the 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 thousand 604 foreign tourists had visited Nepal in September of 2019.
The Cabinet meeting on September 21 has managed an on-arrival visa for foreign tourists visiting Nepal after being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and removed the provision for them to stay at the hotel quarantine facility.
According to the NTB, the number of foreign tourists visiting Nepal drastically dropped to 230,000 in 2020 from 1,197,191 in 2019 due to COVID-19 situation.