Over 12,000 foreign tourists have visited Ghodepani-Punhill, a renowned tourist destination along the Annapurna circuit in Myagdi district, in the past four and a half months.
Tourist Police Office in Ghodepani reported that 12,361 foreign tourists visited the Ghodepani and Punhill areas from mid-July to the end of November in the current fiscal year
The office maintains statistics on foreign tourists, with the majority visiting Ghodepani in November, marking the peak of the tourist season.
In the breakdown provided by Tourist Police Office Ghodepani, Assistant Inspector Tara Budha Magar stated that 976 foreign tourists visited in July, followed by 993 in August, 3,111 in September, and 5,779 in October.
Additionally, until the end of November, 1,502 foreign tourists had visited Ghodepani-Punhill.
According to him, an average of 2,500 to 3,000 domestic tourists have visited since the start of the tourist season in October and November. He mentioned that daily statistics for domestic tourists are not maintained, and monthly data is collected from hoteliers. Ghodepani tourism businessman Dam Bahadur Garbuja noted a decline in tourist numbers this year compared to the previous year. He said, “Last year, following the COVID-19 pandemic, both foreign and domestic tourists showed enthusiasm in visiting Ghodepani. However, this year has witnessed a decrease compared to the previous year.” Garbuja mentioned that during the tourist season last year, around 300 tourists visited Ghodepani daily. However, this year, the number has decreased, with only about 150 foreign tourists entering in a day.
Daila Sherpa, a guide from Multi Adventure Kathmandu, accompanying German tourists to Ghodepani, pointed out that the expansion of road traffic has led to the deterioration of footpaths. So, foreign tourists are frightened from visiting the area due to road dust. He suggested the creation of a separate footpath for tourists to enhance their experience. Tourists, seeking to witness the sunrise and glaciers at Punhill, situated at 3,200 metres above sea level, typically stay in Ghodepani.