Tourism in Nepal

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Hotel Shanker, Kathmandu

Tourism is the largest industry in Nepal, and 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.

Perspective view of the Himalaya and Mount Everest as seen from space, Nepal boasts 8 of the 10 highest mountains in the world



Nepal is the country where Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world, is located. Mountaineering and other types of adventure tourism and ecotourism are important attractions for visitors. The world heritage site Lumbini, birthplace of Gautama Buddha, is located in southern Nepal, and there are other important religious pilgrimage sites throughout the country.

Namche Bazaar, Gateway to Mount Everest under snow

According to statistics of 2012, there is slow growth rate of 9.8%. The number of tourists had increased by 21.4 percent in 2011, which was Nepal Tourism Year (NTY). According to statistics from Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), a total of 598,204 foreign tourists entered the country via aerial route in 2012. The government of Nepal declared 2011 to be Nepal Tourism Year, and hoped to attract one million foreign tourists to the country during that year.[1] The tourist industry is seen as a way to alleviate poverty and achieve greater social equity in the country. The government of Nepal has also declared Lumbini Tourism Year 2012 to promote Lumbini - the birthplace of Lord Buddha.


In 2007, the number of international tourists visiting Nepal was 526,705, which was an increase of 37.2% compared to the previous year. In 2008, the number of tourists decreased by 5% to 500,277.

Paragliders over Phewa Lake, Pokhara

In 2008, 55.9% of the foreign visitors came from Asia (18.2% from India), while Western Europeans accounted for 27.5%, 7.6% were from North America, 3.2% from Australia and the Pacific Region, 2.6% from Eastern Europe, 1.5% from Central and South America, 0.3% from Africa and 1.4% from other countries.

Foreign tourists visiting Nepal in 2008 stayed in the country for an average of 11.78 days.[2][3]


Year Number of international tourists
arriving in Nepal [4]
Year Foreign
 % Change from
previous year
1995 363,395[5]
1996 393,613 8.3
1997 421,857 7.2
1998 463,684 9.9
1999 491,504 6.0
2000 463,646 -5.7
2001 361,237 -22.1
2002 275,468 -23.7
2003 338,132 22.7
2004 385,297 13.9
2005 375,398 - 2.6
2006 383,926 2.3
2007 526,705 37.3
2008 500,277 -5.0
2009 509,956 1.89
2010 602,855 [6] 18.2
2011 736,215 [7] 21.4
2012 803,092[8] 9.1
2013 798,000[9] -0.7

Wilderness tourism[edit]

Chitwan National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Rhinos leofleck.jpg
Elephant safari after One horned rhinos

According to Nepal's Ministry of Tourism, major tourist activities include wilderness and adventure activities such as mountain biking, bungee jumping, rock climbing and mountain climbing, trekking, hiking,[10] bird watching, flights, paragliding and hot air ballooning over the mountains of Himalaya, exploring the waterways by raft, kayak or canoe and jungle safaris especially in the Terai region.[11]

Religious sites[edit]

Janaki Mandir in Nepal.
World famous Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal.

Janaki Mandir, the temple where Nepalese goddess Sita wed Indian Prince Rama.

The major religion in Nepal is Hinduism, and the Pashupatinath Temple, the world's largest temple of Shiva which is located in Kathmandu, attracts many pilgrims and tourists. Other Hindu pilgrimage site include the temple complex in Swargadwari located in the Pyuthan district, Janaki Mandir located in Janakpurdham of Mithila region of Nepal, lake Gosainkunda near Dhunche, the temples at Devghat, Manakamana temple in the Gorkha District, and Pathibhara near Phungling, Mahamrityunjaya Shivasan Nepal in Palpa District where biggest metallic idol of Lord Shiva is Located.

Buddhism is the largest minority religion. The World Heritage site Lumbini, which is traditionally considered to be the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, is an important pilgrimage site. Another prominent Buddhist site is Swayambhunath, the Monkey Temple, in Kathmandu.

Dang valley is also a sacred place for Hindus as well as other religions. Kalika and Malika Devi in Chhillikot hill, Ambekeshawori temple, Krishna temple, Dharapani temple etc. are sacred place in Dang district. Chillikot hill is also a good place for sightseeing and also a ancient palace of a king.

Muktinath is a sacred place for Hindus as well as Buddhists. The site is located in Muktinath Valley, Mustang district.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nepal aims to attract 1 million foreign tourists next year Xinhua News Agency, accessed 21 November 2010
  2. ^ Survey report, Government of Nepal, Ministry of Finance, accessed 21 November 2010
  3. ^ Nepal Tourism Statistics 2010 Report, Government of Nepal, Ministry of Tourism, and Civil Aviation, accessed April 3rd, 2012.
  4. ^ Department of Tourism (Nepal). "Tourism Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved June 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Nepal welcomes only 730,000 visitors during Nepal Tourism Year 2011 Nepal tourism misses 1 million ...". Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "798,000 tourists visited Nepal in 2013,arrivals down by 0.7 %". Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Popular Hiking Routes in Nepal". Everest Uncensored. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Major Tourism Activities, Nepal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, retrieved 21 October 2014

External links[edit]