For decades hikers from all over the world have come to Nepal to trek the famous Annapurna Circuit. According to officials at the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), the number of foreign and domestic trekkers issued permits in September 2016 is up 89% from the same month in 2015. Bel Bahadur Pun, an official at the ACAP office in Jomsom, says that the hotels and lodges along the circuit and flights between Kathmandu, Pokhara and Jomsom have been near capacity.
Local tourism companies contribute this year's renewed interest in the full Annapurna Circuit to the general rise in tourism numbers since the April/May 2015 earthquakes and word of the New Annapurna Trekking Trail (NATT) spreading to other countries.
“I have been mesmerized by the beauty of Muktinath,” said Pabitra Thapa, a local of Lamachaur, Pokhara. “It was the experience of a lifetime. We enjoyed a lot,” she said. “I would like to visit this place again.”
Nepal's tourism sector typically accounts for 6.5% and 8.0% of the country's gross domestic product. With September to November considered to be the best time for trekking in Nepal, let's hope this upward trend in tourist visits continues.