Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha is missing tourists this year due to the global pandemic situation. Otherwise, thousands of Indians visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site annually.
“The number of Indian tourists (in Lumbini) stood at 93,852 last year while domestic tourists were 680,206. Around 86,531 tourists from other countries also had visited the site. Now it’s entirely silent,” said Gyanin Rai, Member Secretary at Lumbini Development Trust.
“Tourists used to throng the area for family tours, annual closing celebration and many other occasions mainly between January to July every year. Businesses use to boom mostly at that time but now it is all silent. We all miss them. Our revenue also has slumped due to this COVID-19 crisis,” Rai added.
Rupandehi, which lies in the southern plains of Nepal is connected with India. Thousands of tourists enter via various entry points established in between the two nations without requiring any sort of documents.
The tourism places of Nepali districts adjoining India have been relying on tourists coming from the southern neighbour. Last year, Nepal had welcomed 209,611 Indian tourists out of a total arrival of 1.17 million tourists.