May 22, 2024, Wednesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Chinese govt allowed visiting Nepal after three years of interval

The Nepal Weekly
March 14, 2023

Chinese government has allowed its citizens to travel to Nepal now on as tourists. The permission was taken withheld for more than three years.

The notice issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China on Friday says that the advisory comes to effect from March 15, the national travel agencies and online travel companies are allowed to resume, on a pilot basis, outbound group tours for Chinese citizens to relevant countries. China announced on January 20, the resumption of outbound travel to 20 countries effective from February 6. But that did not include Nepal. Then Nepal’s private sector, through Chinese embassy in Nepal, urged China to add Nepal to the list. Consequently, in the second list, China’s culture and tourism ministry has allowed its citizens to travel to 40 countries, with Nepal being placed on top.

Arrivals from the northern neighbour were blocked after all flights linking China and Nepal were suspended. China was Nepal’s second-largest tourism source market after India before the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. Tourism Ministry’s statistics shows that around 93 per cent of Chinese tourists were first-time visitors to Nepal.

Arrival of Chinese tourists to Nepal crossed the 100,000 mark for the first time in 2013. Similarly, in 2014, Nepal received 123,805 Chinese visitors. In the year 2015 earthquake and the blockade by India led to arrivals from China reducing to a four-year low of 64,675 individuals in 2015, down 47.76 per cent from 2014.

On December 25, 2015, Nepal announced ‘free visa’ for Chinese tourists, giving them the same facilities accorded to South Asian visitors, in a bid to revive high number arrivals. The free visa scheme was implemented in January 2016. So as tourist arrivals from China started rising steadily, and Nepal witnessed the strongest growth of 46.8 per cent in tourist arrivals from China to 153,633 visitors, in 2018. Thus, Nepal received a record 169,543 Chinese tourists.

The number fell to 19,257 in 2020. In 2021 and 2022, there were 6,198 and 9,599 Chinese tourists in Nepal – comprising mostly diplomats and those who got stranded in third countries came to Nepal when Beijing enforced never-ending lockdowns.

However, the situation turned to be very bad due to coronavirus pandemic came which disturbed for more than two years.