Bhaktapur sees tourist numbers rise 12.6pc

- Anup Ojha, Bhaktapur

Oct 20, 2014-

The tourist hub of Bhaktapur received 290,891 visitors last fiscal year, up 12.6 percent year-on-year. Officials said neighboring India and China accounted for the majority of the visitors. Tourist Information Center Bhaktapur statistics show 32,647 more tourists visited the city last year compared to the previous year.

Bhaktapur is listed as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone artworks. It is also one of the most clean and beautiful cities in the country and is a popular destination among foreigners.

Indian visitors toped the arrival charts. The stats show Indian visitors accounted for 23 percent (64,375) of the total tourists, followed by Chinese 21.51 percent (58,859).

Damodar Suwal, tourist information officer at the centre, said Bhaktapur is devising a plan to allure more tourists by offering world class hospitality, rich heritage and clean environment. “Unlike Kathmandu and Lalitpur, tourists do not have to face sound and noise pollution here and we are committed to keep this city the cleanest,” he said.

Cultural experts and historians say the flow of tourists is increasing as the city has been able to keep the century old chain of culture preserved. They say most of the tourists go to Bhaktapur to see the open museum, deep-rooted Newari culture and to observe and study Bhaktapur as Nepal’s Kingdom during the second half of the 15th century, ruled by the Malla Kings, said Om Dhaubhadhel, a cultural expert.  

“There are events throughout the year, most of them Newari cultural events,” he said. “Besides, youths are also involved in preserving the local culture.”

Although Indians top the arrivals, officials say Germans spend the longer time. “Our record shows Germans are interested in the Newari language. Most of them were also working in the health, education and other sectors as volunteers,” said Suwal.

The centre, a subordinate body of the Bhaktapur Municipality, charges Rs 500 to Chinese and those from Saarc states as entry fee, while for non-Saarc visitors the fee is $15 per person.

The municipality collected Rs 206. 06 million in revenue last fiscal year, up from

Rs 163.78 million in the previous fiscal.

Published: 21-10-2014 09:50

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