Published on : Monday, February 20, 2017
The influx of foreign tourists to the Manaslu Conservation Area that had witnessed a slump in arrivals immediately after the 2015 earthquakes has been restored following the restoration of the local trekking route.
The quakes that shook this region during April and May 2015 has had a major impact and damaged several segments along the trail.
Naturally, this has resulted in a great deal of drop in the tourist arrivals Also, the movement of tourists had become restricted after the landslide that had occurred right after the quakes.
Therefore, the combination of earthquakes and landslides had decelerated the arrival of foreign tourists here by nearly 60% to 2,419 in the year 2015.
The drop had been recorded a year after the Manaslu Conservation Area had witnessed a visit of 5,918 tourists that is the highest ever since the area was made open to the public in 1995. Even though the tourist arrival in Manaslu in 2016 could not surpass that of 2014, a drastic recovery has been made. The area has received 4,872 foreign tourists last year.
Rajkumar Gurung who is the head of Manaslu Conservation Area Project declared that the tourist arrival has been restored and this is due to the fact that maintenance work and also significant repairs have been accomplished.
However, the local government continues to be fearful of future landslides.
Monsoon is not the only time that comes with the landslides. The risk of rockslides is also imminent during the dry season. This is likely to cause severe damage to to the trekking trail, ceasing the movement of the trekkers.
Gurung went on to add that the trekking trail is being renovated in order to meet the global standards. He said that the width of the trails would be increased to about 2 metres. In areas like Lapu and Machikhola, the trails are being widedned and also the trails in Chumchet and Sardibas that were destroyed by the quakes are now being repaired.
In addition, gradients are being minimized at various segments of the trail and a cantilever bridge is being constructed over Sardi Khola, as declared by Gurung. He is therefore hopeful that the efforts would bear the fruits of luring an increased number of tourists to this part of the world.
In the initial half of the current fiscal year, about 3,518 foreign tourists had arrived in Manaslu that marks a rise of 54% than in the same period a year ago.
The Manaslu Conservation Area maintains records on international tourists.
Therefore the number of domestic tourists who arrive here is not really known. A majority of tourists flock to this area during April, May, September, October and November. MNount Manaslu, the eighth tallest peak in the entire world is based in this region and it has a height of 8,163 metres above sea level.