Nepal’s tourism industry experienced a dramatic turnaround in 2016. After being hit by the twin disasters of a devastating earthquake and trade embargo in 2015, foreign tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped nearly 40% in 2016, boosted by robust visitor growth from India, China, the US, the UK and Sri Lanka, according to the statistics of the Department of Immigration. Visitors from the US and the UK jumped 25.67% and 55.71% respectively between 2015 and 2016.
Although still down from pre-earthquake numbers in 2014, this recent increase is a welcome sign that tourism growth will continue into 2017. Tourism is major part of Nepal’s economy and also one of its largest employers.
In 2016, October, November and December saw the most tourist arrivals, accounting for nearly one-third of the annual total. “It’s a dramatic growth. The industry is returning rapidly to its pre-earthquake level,” said Kedar Neupane, director general of the Department of Immigration. Mr. Neupane also states that the government, in conjunction with the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), has its sights set on an aggressive promotional campaign in 2017.