Porters at a rest stop along the route to Sedua
Courtesy Linda Galantin
Tourism was a major source of foreign exchange
Especially since Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali) was
climbed by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tensing Sherpa in 1953,
Himalayas have attracted foreigners to Nepal.
hiking were of considerable interest as were rafting,
hang gliding. Tourism was facilitated with the opening of
to Kathmandu and other parts of the country and the easing
In the 1950s, there was a shortage of hotels. Beginning
1960s, the government encouraged the building of hotels
tourist facilities through loans. According to government
statistics, between 1985 and 1988 the number of hotel
increased from under 22,000 to more than 27,000.
Prior to the trade impasse with India beginning in
tourism had grown by more than 10 percent per year for
most of the
1980s. Between 1985 and 1988, the number of tourists
approximately 181,000 to about 266,000. More than 80
percent of the
tourists arrived in the country by air.
In FY 1985, more than US$40 million worth of foreign
was earned through tourism. By FY 1988, this amount had
to more than US$64 million. In FY 1989, tourism accounted
than 3.5 percent of GDP and about 25 percent of total
exchange earnings. The 1989 trade and transit impasse with
negatively affected tourism because the transport and
sectors of the economy lacked supplies. Beginning in FY
however, Kathmandu initiated a policy to allocate fuel on
priority basis to tour operators and hotels.
Data as of September 1991