Nepal promotes tourism in China

The Embassy of Nepal in China held a promotional event for tourism in the Chinese capital Beijing on Monday. About 80 Nepalese hotels came to Beijing in a bid to promote the tourism business in China. More than 120,000 Chinese traveled to Nepal in 2014, accounting for 15.7% of inbound tourism in Nepal.

The number of Chinese tourists in Nepal has been steadily increasing in the past few years, but compared to other destinations, Nepal sees relatively few Chinese tourists, said Amar Man Shakya, the 1st vice president of the Hotel Association of Nepal. As a result, there is huge room for attracting more Chinese tourists, he added.

Located between China and India, Nepal is home to rich tourism resources, including a number of breathtaking mountains — the world’s highest, Mount Everest, which lies between Nepal and China, and unique Buddhist culture as it is the birthplace of the Buddha.

The country, however, was hit by an 8.1-magnitude earthquake in April last year, leaving more than 8,000 people dead and tens of thousands injured. The quake also took a toll on the country’s tourism industry.

At Monday’s event, Nepalese officials reassured Chinese tourists that it’s now safe to travel to the country.

Only 11 districts out of Nepal’s 75 districts were affected by the quake, said Mani Lamichhane, the officiating director of the Nepal Tourism Board.

Nepal announced a “gratis tourist visa,” or exemption of visa fees, for Chinese tourists, starting from January 1 this year, in order to expand its Chinese tourism market, said Harish Chandra Ghimire, the officiating ambassador of the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing.

Research shows that 120 million Chinese traveled to overseas countries in 2015, and Nepal clearly wants to have a share of the still booming business.

Nepal expects to see more than 500,000 Chinese tourists by 2020, said Shakya of the Hotel Association of Nepal.

A similar promotional event will be held in Shanghai on Thursday.

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