The Nepal Weekly | June 22, 2021
The tourism industry is known as the fourth largest industry in the country in terms of number of employment, according to the tourism analytical report released by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
The tourism industry employs 371,140 people which is 11.5 per cent of people engaged in all industries in Nepal. This puts the sector behind wholesale and retail trade which accounts for 30.6 per cent of the total employment in the country, education which accounts for 15.9 per cent and manufacturing which accounts for 15.8 per cent. Breaking the data down, Bagmati Province has the largest population engaged in tourism industry at 161,674 people followed by Province 1 at 56,782 people. The number of people engaged in tourism is the least in Karnali Province with just 14,123 people involved in the sector.
The report also categorises the data in terms of sub-categories and shows that the number of persons engaged in restaurants and mobile food service, which is 243,790, is by far the largest of all sub-industries. Other sub-industries employing large numbers of persons are short-term accommodation (76,010 persons), beverage serving (17,899 persons) and travel agencies (13,223 persons).
The report also shows the main tourist attractions of each of the 7 province. The major tourism sites of Province 1 are Ilam and the Sagarmatha National Park, of Province 2 are Janakpur and the Parsa Wildlife Reserve, of Bagmati Kathmandu Valley and the Chitwan National Park, of Gandaki Pokhara, Gorkha, the Annapurna Mountain Range and Mount Machhapuchhre, of Lumbini are Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, and the Banke and Bardiya national parks, of Karnali the Rara and Shey Phoksundo national parks and of Sudurpashchim the Khaptad National Park and the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve.
According to the data presented by the analytical study, the Nepali tourism industry boomed from 2012 to 2019, with the number of tourist standard hotels increasing by 54.3 per cent, star hotels increasing by 29 per cent and the number of travel and trekking agencies also growing by more than 10 per cent. However, going by the Economic Survey Report of 2020/21 released last month, the year 2020 was devastating for Nepal’s tourism. The number of tourists arriving in Nepal plunged by nearly 81 per cent bringing down the revenue by more than 70 per cent.