The possibility of over tourism in Nepal is not a topic to discuss widely yet. Over-tourism refers to the situation in tourism where the quality of local residents and services for tourists are affected by huge flux.
Scope of Over Tourism in Nepal
Though Nepal encompasses multiple attractions to tourists, there is no possibility of over tourism in Nepal up to yet. Nepal is a home for worlds’ peak, Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in local language), and the birth place of Lord Buddha, Lumbini. It is between two Asian giant countries India and China. The total population of Nepal is nearly about 30 million. Diversity in physical, cultural, historical, educational has the potential to attract tourists.
During major festive seasons of Nepalese, the movement from urban parts to rural parts across the country makes the market crowded. “Tourist go home” is still not heard in any corners of the country but during local festivals and Nepali new year seasons, for a few days, a sense of over tourism is heard in some cities.
What is behind over tourism in Nepal
The opening of hotel began since the 1950s after country is free from Rana regime. Regional meetings and games were successfully conducting in Nepal after home-conflict is marginally solved. Data presents Pokhara can accommodate about 16,000 tourists daily but during new year’s eve, domestic and international tourists will be around 0.3 million, ABC camp during seasons has more foot trailers than the occupancy of hotels and restaurants in the journey. Visitors on Muktinath, Rara lake, Gosaikunda lake, Pathivara temple, Halesi temple also attract more visitors during the special seasons to visit and auspicious time for Hindus.
Expected reasons for over tourism
The government expects the tourism sector to contribute to GDP with a good proportion. So tourism policy, strategic action plan, and development plan are focusing to promote tourism sector to increase jobs and collect revenue. New tourist destinations are being identified by provincial and local governments. For Nepal, Rural tourism is a new chapter in tourism to attract domestic tourists to gain cultural hospitality and experience new geo locations.
Data on overtourism
In 2018, the higher number of tourist entries are in March, October and November are 110,275, 119,098, and 132,116 respectively. Whereas, the number of beds in hotels including both star and non-star has 40,856 in 2018/19. Generally, Kathmandu city is free from over tourism due to the high occupancy of hotels. But, urban cities like Pokhara, Chitwan, and rural cities like Muktinath, Gosaikunda, Pathivara, Rara lake experienced from over tourism during festive seasons like October, November, and March.
Also, investment for constructing new hotels, improvement, and construction of trails, establishing tourist information centers, and usage of digital features increases the possibility of over tourism.
Does over tourism have an impact on Nepal at present?
In conclusion, possibility of over tourism in Nepal is not felt except for a few days.