Nepal’s Tourism: Surging Indian Tourists, Dwindling Chinese

In May 2024, Nepal witnessed a remarkable surge in foreign tourist arrivals, marking a significant 16.10 percent increase compared to the previous year. However, amidst this positive trend, the notable absence of Chinese tourists raises concerns and sheds light on the shifting dynamics of Nepal’s tourism landscape.

Statistics reveal that while Indian tourists continue to dominate the influx, with a staggering 38,288 arrivals in May, China’s contribution has dwindled significantly. Once a key player in Nepal’s tourism market, Chinese visitors numbered only 8,381 in May 2024, falling far below expectations.

This decline is particularly striking when compared to May 2019, where China ranked second in terms of visitor numbers. Despite a 15 percent increase in overall foreign arrivals compared to 2019, Chinese tourists have notably receded, giving way to a surge in American visitors who now outnumber them. In May 2024, Nepal welcomed 8,527 tourists from the United States, cementing their position as a growing force in the country’s tourism sector.

Furthermore, while India and the United States have shown significant growth in visitor numbers, Nepal has also seen an increase in arrivals from Bangladesh. With 3,458 tourists visiting in May, Bangladesh now ranks fourth in terms of foreign arrivals, underscoring the diversification of Nepal’s tourism market.

Director Maniraj Lamichhane of the Nepal Tourism Board expressed cautious optimism regarding the tourism surge but highlighted the conspicuous absence of Chinese visitors. Lamichhane pointed towards China’s purported economic fragility as a potential culprit behind this decline, underscoring a shift in global travel dynamics.



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