(English) More foreign tourists lured toward “district beyond Himalaya”

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KATHMANDU, Nepal–The number of foreign tourists visiting Upper Mustang area in Mustang district has increased.

As per the data of the office of Immigration, as many as 3,729 foreign tourists visited Upper Mustang in fiscal year 2013/14. The number was 3,266 in previous year.

Officials believe that with the enlist of  ‘Top 10 Best Regions to Travel in 2013’ by Lonely Planet — the largest selling travel guidebook — the flow of foreign tourists visiting Mustang, also known as the “district beyond Himalaya”, increased continuously.

Snow caped peak, natural attraction, breathless views, and unique culture of local people are the major attractions of Upper Mustang.

According to the Department of Immigration (DoI) in Kathmandu, most of the tourists visiting Upper Mustang are from France (730), Germany (394) and USA (387).

Foreign trekkers opting to travel Upper Mustang have to pay a US$ 500 to get the permit, which is issued by the Department of Immigration (DoI). The permit is valid for 10 days.

With the rise in the number of trekkers, revenue collection via permit fee also increased in the review year. The government mobilized total revenue of Rs 185 million in permit fee from Upper Mustang. In the previous fiscal year, the government had collected Rs 156.7 million from permit fee.

Around 25,000 foreign tourists have visited the area since it was opened to foreigners in 1992.

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