Sharp decline of tourists in ACAP

By Gopal Chhantyal
Mustang, Jan 31: The tourism related business in the round Annapurna trekking route, one of the best trekking destinations in the world, has suffered badly due to Gorkha Earthquake and India’s unofficial blockade.
The trekking route that used to lure a large number of tourists every year has witnessed a sharp downfall in tourists’ arrival in 2015.
The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) said that only 80,000 tourists arrived in the trekking route in 2015 which is 50,000 less compared with 2014. The arresting beauty of the trekking route along Kaski, Myagdi, Mustang, Manang and Lamjung district attracts the tourists from across the globe.
A total of 6,00 hotels of small and big scale are in operation in the trekking route that incorporates 57 VDCs in the five districts.
The hoteliers said that the industries run in small investment are on the verge of closure for lack of tourists.
Chief of ACAP Lal Prasad Gurung said that the trekking route suffered the severe loss due to natural disaster and political instability in the country.
He said, “Decline of 50,000 tourists in a year is not a minor issue. This has caused nearly Rs 1.5 billion in loss.
The tourists visiting the trekking route stay at least seven days and spend nearly Rs 3,000 a day, the ACAP said.