As the spring expedition season has started, the increase in the number of visitors coming toNepal for this purpose has had a positive impact on overall tourist arrivals.

According to the Department of Immigration, nearly 15,000 tourists arrived in the country in March. This is the highest number of tourists entering the country in the last one year. The number of tourists arriving in the country that had dropped drastically after the government imposed the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus on March 24 last year had not recovered much since.

As per the department, 11,002 men, 3,363 women and 12 'other gender' tourists visited Nepal in March. A total of 32,997 tourists visited Nepal in the first three months of 2021, with the March arrivals nearly matching the cumulative arrivals of the earlier two months. Before the lockdown, up to 150,000 tourists used to come to Nepal during this season. However, there are indications that tourist arrivals will gradually increase.

During the review month, 7,658 tourists came to Nepal from India alone. Tourist arrivals from India has rebounded better than from other countries. In January and February, altogether 8,791 tourists from India had visited the country.

The United States was the second highest source country for tourists. In March alone, 1,703 tourists arrived from the United States. China ranked in the third place, with 1,207 tourists arriving from the northern neighbour.

The UK came in fourth with 665 tourists, while 568 tourists arrived from Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the total number of passengers entering Nepal via air in the review month was 71,270. Of them, 14,977 were foreigners and 56,293 were Nepali passengers. Meanwhile, a total of 58,592 passengers went abroad, of whom 49,005 were Nepali passengers and 9,587 were foreigners.

Till yesterday, the department had issued expedition permits to 217 mountaineers. Among them, the highest number of climbers - 138 - have received permit for Mt Everest.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 05, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.