Tourism in Nepal announced more than 940,000 visitors in 2017, 24.86% more than in the previous year, surpassing the historical record of 2012 and marking a substantial increase compared to 2015, one of the worst years recorded due to the earthquake that devastated the country and the protests against the new Constitution.
The country of the Himalayas last year received about 187,000 visitors more than in 2016 and broke the historic high of 2012 (803,092), according to data from the Immigration Department.
"Tourist arrivals have surpassed the record, which is encouraging news for tourism in Nepal," said Kosh Hari Niraula, one of the Department's heads.
Regarding the origin of tourists, the main source country was India, with a total of 160,832 visitors, followed by China, with 104,664 tourists, and by the United States, with 79,164.
Figures from the Immigration Department only include arrivals through the only international airport in Nepal, and to add to the arrivals by road the total number of visitors could exceed one million, according to the executive director of the Nepal Tourism Council, Deepak Joshi. "Our estimates show that the number would be close to 1.05 million," he said.
Joshi said that the main reason behind the increase in visitors is the wide advertising campaign developed by the Tourism Council. The goal is to reach two million tourists by 2022.
Nepal received in 2015 about 539,000 tourists, the lowest figure of the last six years, in a period marked by the earthquake that caused the death of some 9,000 people, left 21,000 injured and economic damages of more than 6,600 million dollars.