Tourism is the largest industry in Nepal; the largest source of foreign exchange and revenue. Possessing 8 of the 10 highest mountains in the world, Nepal is a hotspot destination for mountaineers, rock climbers and people seeking adventures. The Hindu and Buddhist heritage of Nepal, and its cold weather are also strong attractions.Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes.
Major Tourism Activities
Nepal is well known for country of the Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world and a famous destination for adventure tourism. The world heritage Lumbini (birth place of Buddha) is also located in Nepal. Natural scenic landscape and biodiversity, high Himalayas, incomparable cultural heritage and other numerous peculiarities have made Nepal a well-known destination in the world tourism map with a distinct image (NTB, 2009). These qualities made Nepal a unique place giving high potentialities for the growth of tourism industry. So far, the pace of tourism industry development could not be considered promising from the perspective of economic development. Even if, this sector is contributing substantial share in foreign exchange receipts with unlimited potentiality. The new government policies have shown greater concerns about the real value of tourism and its role to contribute in economic growth and overall tourism development in the country. Furthermore, tourism industry is considered as a major element for poverty alleviation and social equity. The Nepal Tourism Vision 2020, has been issued from the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MOTCA) with the collaboration of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and concerned industries targeting to attract two millions of tourist by 2020(Source: Economic Survey, 2009. MOF,Nepal)
International Tourist Arrivals(source: Economic Survey, 2009)
While analyzing the number of tourists visiting Nepal, their growth trend and length of stay, the number of tourists had increased by 37.2 percent to 526,705 during the calendar year 2007. The number of tourists in the calendar year 2008 totaled 500,277 with a decline of 5 percent. In 2006, the average length of tourist stay was 11.96 days, while this has come down to 11.78 days in the calendar year 2008. The number of tourists had increased by 37.2 percent to 526,705 during the calendar year 2007. The number of tourists in the calendar year 2008 totaled 500,277 with a decline of 5 percent. In 2006, the average length of tourist stay was 11.96 days, while this has come down to 11.78 days in the calendar year 2008.Of the total tourists’ arrival during the calendar year 2008, 27.5 percent were from Western Europe, 7.6 percent from North America, 3.2 percent from Australia and Pacific Region, 2.6 percent from Eastern Europe, 1.5 percent from Central and South America, 0.3 percent from Africa and 1.4 percent from other countries. Among the total visitors, 55.9 percent were from Asia comprising 18.2 percent Indian tourists. Though shares of tourists arriving from North America, Central and South America, Asia, Australia and Pacific have declined in comparison to the figure during the same period in the preceding year, the tourist arrivals from Africa and other countries have increased.