Prior to the pandemic, tourism in Nepal was booming with arrivals increasing every year. A total of 1,197,191 travelers visited Nepal in 2019. Of these, 171,542 went on a trek – the most number of trekkers in Nepal’s trekking history. So where do these trekkers go?
The Annapurna region received the largest number of trekkers with 181,746 trekking in the Annapurna area in 2019. The Everest region received a total of 57,289 in 2019 compared to 56,303 in 2018. However, it is important to note that the Annapurna Conservation Area covers an area of 7,629 square kilometers compared to the Sagarmatha National Park which covers 1,148 square kilometers. Also, the Annapurna region has several trekking routes which may or may not overlap including the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Ghorepani Trek, Nar-Phu Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek and the Muktinath Trek. The Langtang area received the third largest number of trekkers at 12,132 in 2019. These were followed by Manaslu with 7,655 trekkers, Mustang with 3,739 trekkers, Rolwaling with 2,528 trekkers, Tsum Valley with 1,393 trekkers and Nar-Phu with 1,066 trekkers. Similarly, Kanchenjunga received 806 trekkers and Upper Dolpo received 520 trekkers. Given these numbers, it is fair to say that around 95% of trekkers went trekking to either the Annapurna region or the Everest region. (Note, one trekker can go trekking in one or more regions).
A monthly break-down reveals that the busiest month for trekking is October. Around 55,000 trekkers visited the Annapurna region in the months of October and November compared to around 40,000 in March and April. Similarly, around 24,000 trekkers visited the Everest region in October and November compared to around 18,000 in March and April.
Lastly, arrivals have been slowly increasing in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021 and 2020. 58,348 tourists arrived in Nepal in 2022 which is a 159.9% increase compared to 2021. Similarly, 42,006 tourists arrived in Nepal in March 2022.