Annapurna region sees record number of tourists in 2017

4th Feb, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Feb 04: A record number of trekkers have visited the Annapurna Conservation Area in 2017.

According to the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), a total of 158,578 foreign tourists visited the Annapurna Region in 2017. The number is 38.88 percent higher than the figures of 2016.

India has topped the list of tourists visiting the popular trekking region of the country in 2017. According to statistics compiled by Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Pokhara Office, 32,656 Indians trekked in the Annapurna region in 2017, nearly two times more than the number of trekkers from second-placed China.

China is ranked second on the list with 11,206 trekkers, with France third at 10,748, the United Kingdom at 10,302 and the United States of America at 10,262.

Rashmi Acharya, a tourism officer with ACAP Pokhara Office, said that most of the Indian tourists enter the Annapurna region for religious purposes. “Almost 90 percent of Indian tourists visiting Annapurna region are religious tourists coming for Muktinath pilgrimage,” Acharya said.

The Annapurna Circuit has also witnessed a spike in number of tourists passing through Lamjung route. In 2017, the trekking route was visited by 27,068 foreign tourists from the route, the highest ever recorded.

In 2016, the Annapurna region had welcomed 114,187 visitors. Of the total arrivals, 18,554 were from South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries. In 2017, the region welcomed 33,125 visitors from SAARC countries.

The number of trekkers was highest in October and lowest in June. According to ACAP, 25,300 trekkers visited the Annapurna region in October, while the number of trekkers in June was only 3,002.

Tourist arrival that was hit hard by the earthquakes of 2015 is gradually coming back on track. Tourism entrepreneurs are hopeful of seeing a healthy rise in tourist numbers this year.