Arriving at Kathmandu airport, With print-outs in hand, travelers must then join a line of people waiting to pay $25 for a 15-day visa at a worn-out wooden counter. Starting in 2016, Chinese arrivals no longer have to pay this fee.
Although it's not a great expense for Chinese tourists able to afford an international holiday, $25, or 175 Renminbi, no more than the cost of a nice dinner, being for once treated better than other western citizens, however, represents a good start of feeling truly welcome in Nepal.
Nepal, landlocked and forever in the shadow of its two big neighbors India and China, has experienced a annus horibilis in 2015. As a result, the positive development of tourism arrival numbers since 2010 has arrested, and arrivals in 2015 almost halved compared to the previous year.
Chinese arrivals had doubled to 124,000 in 2014 from 62,000 in 2011, boosted by the yearning of Chinese urbanites for pure nature and authentic lifestyles. The Chinese movie Up in the Wind, shot in Pokhara, has been a hit among youth since it was released in 2013, driving the popularity of the lake city among young Chinese. Some Chinese tourist guidebooks include Pokhara now as one of the "Top Ten places in the world to see before you die."
For Nepal, China represents the most important potential for growth, both in the number of visitors and in the development of the sophistication of the Nepali tourism industry. In China, Nepal enjoys a positive image, and the locals are very nice and friendly to Chinese.