The Government of Nepal aims to welcome one million foreign tourists in 2023 but has only received around 600,000 by the end of August. To reach this goal, they need at least 400,000 more tourists in the next four months. The Nepal Tourism Board is optimistic about achieving this, mainly due to the upcoming trekking season and the start of the main tourist season.
Maniraj Lamichhane, director of the Nepal Tourism Board, recognizes the challenge of reaching the one million foreign tourist target but is hopeful. He highlights that the main tourist season starts in September and peaks in October and November. He also anticipates that expanded flight services to Gautam Buddha International Airport will help boost arrivals, even as they may decrease toward December.
However, concerns are arising about low foreign tourist arrivals in Pokhara, a popular destination, which could have a negative impact on Nepal’s overall tourism. Entrepreneurs point to high airfares to Nepal compared to European destinations and lower-than-expected Chinese tourist visits as factors. Pom Narayan Shrestha, president of the Pokhara Tourism Council, believes this situation may affect tourism in Nepal as a whole, attributing the challenges to expensive airfares and reliance on foreign airlines due to limitations of Nepal Airlines Corporation.