Rara Witnesses Surge in Tourist Footfall Despite Winter Chill

Rara Witnesses Surge in Tourist Footfall Despite Winter Chill
Rara, Nepal

January 17, 2024 – Nepal: In the picturesque landscapes of Rara, one of Nepal’s premier tourist destinations, more than 6,000 tourists have flocked to explore its beauty in the last six months, marking a significant surge in visitor numbers. According to data provided by the Rara National Park office, the period from July 1 to the end of December saw a total of 6,557 domestic tourists, 156 from SAARC countries, and 6,713 from foreign nations making their way to the region.

Raju Ghimire, the conservation officer of the park, expressed optimism about the increased tourist influx, stating that it is a positive sign for the region’s tourism sector. He highlighted that during the festive seasons of Dasain and Tihar, Rara experienced a notable surge in domestic tourist arrivals.
Over the six-month period, the Rara National Park collected a revenue of approximately Rs 2.2 million 18 thousand from various sources, including entry fees, penalties, and fines.

Rara, Nepal, sees a surge in tourism with over 6,000 visitors in six months, marking a positive trend for the sector. Despite winter chill, domestic and international tourists flock to the scenic destination. The Rara National Park collects revenue of Rs 2.2 million 18 thousand, highlighting a rebound from previous years. Concerns persist over inadequate infrastructure and amenities hindering further growth.

Comparing the current statistics with the preceding year, where only 11,000 domestic tourists visited Rara, along with 26 from SAARC countries and 183 from other foreign nations, the growth in tourism is evident. The relaxation of the tourism sector after a four-year slump, attributed partly to the COVID-19 pandemic, has contributed to the rise in tourist arrivals.

Ghimire revealed that the entry fees for visitors are Rs 100 per person for domestic tourists, Rs 1,500 per person for SAARC countries, and Rs 3,000 per person for other foreign tourists. Notably, 75 percent of tourists prefer air travel, while the remaining 25 percent opt for road transportation.
However, tourism professionals and local businessmen have raised concerns about the limited growth in tourist numbers, citing inadequate road infrastructure and air connectivity. Complaints from tourists about the lack of well-equipped hotels and entertainment facilities in the Rara area have been a recurring issue, hindering the region’s potential for further tourism development.

Despite these challenges, Ghimire highlighted that the number of tourists visiting Rara has not waned even during the winter months. He anticipates that the total number of visitors could reach 15,000 to 16,000 by the end of the year, with the possibility of a further increase if snowfall attracts enthusiasts seeking winter activities.

As the temperature in the Rara region drops to minus eight at night and minus five in the morning and afternoon, Wasmati Rawal, the Abwar of the Rara Weather Center, noted that the cold weather has not deterred tourists from exploring the region. The resilient tourist turnout, even during the winter season, showcases the enduring appeal of Rara as a must-visit destination in Nepal.

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