Kathmandu: Tourism entrepreneurs and associations have geared up to attract more foreign tourists in Annapurna region located in central Nepal.
Located in the foothills of world’s 10th tallest mountain in the world Mount Annapurna, Annapurna trekking circuit is the second most popular trekking destination in Nepal after Everest base camp.
To attract more foreign tourists in the region, Nepal organized the nine-month long Annapurna Sanctuary Tourism Festival in three phases, which concluded this week coinciding with Annapurna Day.
“Annapurna region is enriched with majestic snow-capped mountains, rich culture and diverse flora and fauna. We can tap these potentials and attract more tourists in the region,” Deepak Joshi, head at tourism promotion body Nepal Tourism Board, said.
As part of the festival, a high-altitude marathon was also organized by Annapurna Sanctuary Tourism Festival Committee starting from Annapurna Base Camp located at an altitude of 4,130 meters from the sea level.
Officials are of view that the Annapurna region can work as a perfect destination for both adventure and sports.
“High-altitude marathon includes both adventure and sports, which can attract many foreign tourists to participate or to witness. We are committed to organize and support such events in the days to come,” Mohan Krishna Sapkota, Secretary at Nepal’s Sports Ministry said.
According to Annapurna Sanctuary Tourism Festival Committee, it is planning to continue the Annapurna marathon next year as well. Besides, tourism experts have also suggested for other activities like mountain biking and ski.
With the growing number of trekkers, locals have also considered opening up more lodges and providing good facilities to the tourists.
Annapurna trekking circuit covers various districts of Nepal including Kaski, Lamjung, Manang and Mustang. According to the statistics, over 25,000 tourists trek in the region annually. April-May and September-October is regarded as the suitable season for trekking in Nepal’s Himalayas including in Annapurna region.
Nepal government has already announced the year 2020 as Visit Nepal Year where it aims to welcome 2 million foreign tourists. In 2017, Nepal welcomed 940,218 foreign tourists, mostly from India and China.
The country’s tourism sector is recovering gradually from the deadly earthquake in 2015.