Chinese tourist in Nepal

Nepal has been added to China’s list of tourist destinations that are open to its citizens.

China has released a list of forty nations that its citizens are welcome to visit following Xi Jinping’s third term as president. Nepal has risen to the top of the list of tourist destinations as of March 15.

As a measure to control the Corona epidemic, China will prohibit its citizens from traveling outside the country beginning at the end of January 2020.

Earlier, during the first phase, the names of 20 nations that will be permitted to travel beginning on February 6 were made public by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Chinese tourists did not visit most of the countries on the first list.

Prior to the publication of the tourist list, a portion of the air service between Nepal and China will be opened.

Welcoming visitors from China

“The deepest heart is always touched by true beauty.” A visit to Nepal is a must, with its history, diversity, and natural beauty. Best wishes for #VisitNepal2020! Hou Yanqi, the Chinese ambassador to Nepal, tweeted about the Visit Nepal 2020 tourism campaign on New Year’s Eve (2019).

During his visit in October 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his support for the tourism year. The Nepal travel industry Board had likewise gone all out with a limited-time crusade in China, designating Chinese entertainer Xu Qing as Generosity Representative in a bid to draw in Chinese vacationers. Her selfies with the pleasant Annapurna mountain behind the scenes had made truly a buzz via online entertainment.

Since 2016, Beijing has been promoting Nepal as a tourist destination. Which has resulted in a steady rise in Chinese tourists through 2020. Then Covid-19 struck, causing the worst tourism crisis in Nepal’s history and the loss of thousands of jobs and businesses. Like many other nations, Nepal’s tourism industry suffered greatly in 2020 and 2021.

China’s visitors from abroad

Nepal was added to Beijing’s list of approved destinations in 2002 due to the country’s large number of outbound tourists. Since then, Chinese eateries have begun to appear in Thamel, Kathmandu, and Lakeside, Pokhara. Mandarin classes for trekking guides, restaurant servers, and salespeople were offered at language centers.

By 2019, almost 1.2 million Chinese tourists had visited Nepal, accounting for 14.2 percent of the total. In spite of the increase, insiders claim that tourists may be discouraged from visiting Nepal due to the country’s poor tourism infrastructure, high airfare, and language barriers.

Nepal can address these concerns by encouraging budget airlines to fly direct to the newly opened international airports in Bhairahawa and Pokhara. This will lower the cost of traveling and make it easier to connect to Chinese cities.

Outbound Chinese tourism has been seriously impacted by China’s stringent Covid-19 protocol. However, Beijing has eased the restrictions, and direct flights to Kathmandu have been resumed by some cities. When compared to pre-Covid times, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal is still relatively low. However, if more cities allow international flights to Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Bhairahawa, arrivals may increase.

More Chinese tourists translate into more Chinese yuan, which is used to pay for Chinese imports. One strategy for attracting renminbi reserves is to increase tourism given Nepal’s low exports to China. The possibility of a rise in Chinese FDI is yet another factor to take into consideration. The Department of Industry says that over the past five years, the tourism industry has received investments worth more than Rs25 billion, with China receiving the most FDI commitments.

However, there are additional obstacles that require our consideration. It has been reported that Chinese citizens and businesses have been making online payments through payment gateways like Alipay and WeChat Pay. Chinese tourists can buy goods and services from Chinese businesses in Nepal without having to pay Nepali rupees because this system avoids the Nepali economy. Tax revenue could continue to be lost if government officials are unable to integrate these transactions into Nepal’s formal economic channels.

Diplomatic tourism

China’s significant outbound tourism is rapidly developing into a soft power for Beijing. It has also been able to diversify its FDI markets through thriving Chinatowns in a variety of countries thanks to its skillful tourism diplomacy. The majority of tourist destinations worldwide, like Nepal, are anticipating an influx of Chinese visitors. However, these nations should be wary of China’s tendency to use its significant outbound tourism as soft power, particularly to express its displeasure with the host nation’s governments. China has discouraged its travel agents from selling tour packages to South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam through undeclared sanctions in the past. Unknown import and export restrictions were lifted as soon as the new communist party government took office in Nepal, too. These maneuvers not only result in significant revenue losses for the host nations but also undermine confidence in China as a dependable destination for tourism.

China’s support for Nepal as a tourist destination should be welcomed as Nepal seeks to recover from pandemic losses. Because it will undoubtedly boost the country’s tourism industry and its share of the GDP. However, our policymakers must also be aware of the dangers of putting all of their hopes and dreams in one basket. Nepal is in a geopolitically sensitive area. Because it is home to many Tibetan refugees and has an open border with India on three sides. The over-dependence of Nepal’s tourism industry on Chinese tourists could eventually weaken our ability to pursue an independent foreign policy and lead to an economic weak spot, despite the significant benefits it may bring. Our overreliance on the Indian market for both imports and exports has already harmed our bargaining position with one of our neighbors. We need to learn from that error.

Nepal china connection

Since ancient times, Nepal and China have maintained friendly relations. In 1955, the two nations established modern diplomatic relations, and ever since then, they have maintained close ties. The relationship between Nepal and China is notable in the following ways:

Relations with Politics: Over the years, Nepal and China’s political ties have grown stronger. China has been supporting Nepal’s infrastructure development projects and providing economic assistance to the country. As of late, the two nations have likewise been expanding their tactical collaboration.

Relationships Economic: One of Nepal’s most important trading partners is now China. While China primarily exports consumer goods, machinery, and petroleum products to Nepal. Nepal exports a variety of goods to China, including woolen carpets, handicrafts, and herbs.

Construction of Infrastructure: In Nepal, China has been involved in a number of projects to build infrastructure, such as highways, hydropower plants, and airports. Additionally, agreements for the development of railways and cross-border connectivity have been signed between the two nations.

Cultural Transfer: Through a variety of events and activities, Nepal and China have been promoting cultural cooperation. Nepal and China have a long history of cultural exchange.

Conflicts at the border: China and Nepal have had a few border fights in the past, but the two countries have been able to work out their differences peacefully. There have been some tensions between the two countries about the border in recent years. But both sides have said they are committed to finding a solution through dialogue and peaceful means.

Posted by

Kapil Banjara

Kapil is been working for 7 years in the tourism industry as a professional tour guide. He is a resource person of Nepalese society and politics with culture and tourism under Tribhuvan University for 8 years.
Kapil has also published a tourism-related book titled “Nepalese society and politics with culture and tourism” from Buddha Publication. He has been completed his master’s degree in different social subjects such as Population Studies, Political Science, Educational Planning and Management, and sociology.

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