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River based tourism in Nepal: An analysis

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Tourism
Wordcount: 3372 words Published: 11th Apr 2017

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Rivers based Tourism in Nepal


Nepal is rich in water resources so river plays an important role that flows from Himalayas to Terai. In Nepal, rivers are treated as goddess (SAARC Tourism, 2009). Rivers are the ever flowing and also inspiring source of beauty and also people can enjoy the infinite adventure to the fullest (SAARC Tourism, 2009). In Nepal, when the mountain melts then the river flows across the country and this makes the country the choice of more thriller and adventure.

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There are more than thousands of river in Nepal so Nepal is the second largest country in water resources after Brazil (prabin, 2010). There are many big as well as small rivers in Nepal so most of the big rivers in Nepal flow from Mountain Region such as Karnali, Arun, Tamakoshi and so on (Khadka, n.d.). These rivers are also called snow fed rivers. Rivers in Nepal are divided into three basic categories they are Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali. Among these Koshi is one of the longest rivers in the country and comprises of different rivers like Arun, Tamakoshi, Indravati, Dudhkoshi, Tamor, Likhu and Sunkoshi (Thamel Dot Com, n.d.).

In Nepal, many tourist visits only for the adventurous purpose. Rafting, kayaking could be one of them. So tourist comes to Nepal for rafting because Nepal is one of the best countries for rafting. Bhotekoshi River is one which is just three to four hour far from Kathmandu which provides some of the most adventurous activities like rafting, kayaking and cannoning and also this river is one of the best rivers for rafting in the world.

Objective of the study

The objectives of the following research are as follows:

  • To find out the state of river tourism in Nepal
  • To understand the profile of river based tourist visiting Nepal.
  • To assess prospects and growths of river based tourism in Nepal.


Researcher has created some statement according to the result of an experiment.

Hypothesis 1

Most of the foreigners from US, England, Australia and Canada visited Nepal only for adventurous purpose like hiking, rafting, trekking and kayaking.

Hypothesis 2

The tourists of age group from 16-30 years visited Nepal only for adventure.

Hypothesis 3

Most of the foreigners visits Nepal for adventure purpose are male.

Hypothesis 4

Political instability directly affects river based tourism and also in country’s economy.

Problem statement

What is the current situation of river based tourism in Nepal?


  • Against which gender and age group do river based tourism attract tourist?
  • What is the age group of the instructor who will train to raft?
  • Is the age group from 16-30+ above preferred to go for rafting?
  • How many foreigners come for rafting or kayaking?
  • How river based tourism practices in Nepal?
  • Is there any agent working for river based tourism?
  • How travel agents promoting river based tourism in other countries?
  • What are the different promotional activities used by travel agent for river based tourism?
  • What are the impacts of river based tourism in Nepal?
  • How government plays their role in the development of river based tourism?
  • How travel agent provides security while rafting and kayaking to the tourists?

Literature Review

There are many rivers in Nepal which flows from Koshi to Mahakali. Almost all of the rafting company in Nepal favors tourism that cherishes the visitors with providing deep knowledge and conserving the cultures and environment they visit (Himalayan River Operator Nepal, 2014).

According to Nepal Gateway,” Bhotekoshi River is also called White Water River and is one of the best and Short River rafting in Nepal with the intense of thrilling rafting adventure ( Nepal Gateway Trekking, 2014).” Almost all the rivers of Nepal flow from the mountain region and come with the high forces with continuous rapid action and this makes the tourist more adventurous and thrilling. Adventure tourism is not just trekking and mountaineering, now rafting and river based any activities are also counted as the adventure tourism. According to The Ministry of Cultural, Tourism and Civil Aviation,” the statistics shows that there has been the increment of the tourists in Nepal for the purpose of adventurous activities (Binu, 2013).”

According to N. P. Bhandary R. K. Dahal and M. Okamura,” Pokhara is one of the tourist destinations of Nepal where on 5 may, 2012 a devastating debris mixed flood in the downstream of Seti River where many people are killed in that disaster (N.P. Bhandari, n.d.).”

. The tourism statistics by Ministry of culture, Tourism and civil Aviation (MOCTCA, 2012) shows that the numbers of tourists who are in the age group 16-30 years visit the country mainly for adventurous purpose (Binu, 2013).

Nepal’s main asset is water and it is the second highest in the world. According to Pashupati SJB Rana,” if the rivers of Nepal are harnessed, controlled and utilized properly in a sustainable manner then there will be the development in the tourism sector and as well as in the local areas also which simply results in the development of the country (Lohani, 2011).” So this helps in the tourism sector and for those people who gives the interest towards river. If the government does this in time then some of the environmental factors could be controlled like flood, landslide etc. If the tourist comes to Nepal then the country’s economy automatically rises up.

According to (MOCTCA) Ministry of culture, Tourism and civil Aviation,” the countries like England, France, US, Australia, Japan, Canada, Russia visited Nepal for adventurous activities like rafting, trekking, hiking and others (N.P. Bhandari, n.d.).”

“Nepal has no less than 83000 MV hydro potential. But availability of the fund is a major constraint so according to Binod Bhattarai tourism has suffered a setback in recent years because of political instability as well as economical condition and ling draw ethnic conflict (Lohani, 2011).” Climate change can also have a direct effect in river based tourism. In the winter season, the flow of river will be low because melting point of an ice is low so there will be low tourist turnover and by this economy of the country will automatically be low.

Rafting in Nepal

Rivers of Nepal flow rather faster than any of other countries in the world. Bhotekoshi River ranked top 6 in the world in case of rafting ( Himalayan River Operator Nepal, 2014). So many foreigners visit Bhotekoshi River for the main purpose of rafting. There are many agents who are helping foreigners as well as local people for the development of rafting. So rivers of Nepal flow so fast that for the rafter they can enjoy the thriller and adventurous moment.

Another popular destiny for rafting is Trishuli River. Trishuli River is also very popular river for rafting for foreigners and as well as local people. Just 3 to 4 hours it takes from Kathmandu to reach Trishuli River so people can easily go there.


Kayaking is one of the adventurous games done in the excitement of white water kayaking on warm and Friendly River (Himalayan River Operator, 2014). Just with a single boat, a single person with international level experienced instructor, people can enjoy the excitement in the river flowing very forcedly. Kayaking is very popular in Bhotekoshi River and as well as in Trishuli River.


Rivers are not only for rafting and kayaking but also people can spend hours and hours sitting at the bank of the river. They can relax and can enjoy the flow of the river. The image of the sun reflecting on the river could be the beautiful moment and the people cannot forget that moment and it is very hard to imagine. Rivers of Nepal is one of the nature’s gifts that one can fell like heavenly experience.

Limitation of literature review

Limitation is the certain of limits. This study has some problems and limited as well. Certain limitations are highlighted towards below:

  • Respondent has not given proper attention due to lack of time and resources.
  • Study was carried out within Thamel area.
  • Busy schedule of authorized person led impossible to fetch maximum data.
  • Some data were on hypothetical assumption because due to the lack of fact knowledge and written statement.

Conclusion: Literature Review

There are many rivers in Nepal among them Bhotekoshi and Trishuli River are the best for rafting and kayaking. These rivers are also called White Water River with thrilling and adventurous activities. The rivers of Nepal come with high forces which flow from mountain region and make the foreigners more adventurous and thrilling.

All the data collected by the researcher shows that there has been the increment of the tourist in Nepal in case of river based tourism. The age group from 16-30 years visits Nepal every year for adventure. Also the foreigners from different countries visited Nepal for rafting, trekking, hiking and others. Nepal is rich in water resources so it ranked second in the world.

The researcher found that rivers are being polluted day by day; this directly affects the economy of the country as well as river based tourism. If the government does not take action about this then river tourism will be diminished slowly.



Minimum hundred of randomly selected persons of equally Nepalese and foreigner will be asked to participate here in the survey. The population of foreigner people found more comparing towards other ordinary people close to Thamel area. Therefore, 65% of the foreigners are interested in tourism activities where as 35% of the Nepalese are involved in tourism activities. However, current surveys explain that flow of foreigner citizens are growing in the coming days. Finally after the long survey, targeted place will be sited at Thamel area so that calculation of international citizen will count easy.


The research use Qualitative methods to collect all the possible data. Hundreds of respondent are participated in this study. Researcher collected all the questionnaire and this questionnaire are asked to the respondent. Qualitative interviewing is done by two ways process which gives the researcher to gather all the data more or less subjective and value overloaded (Healey, 1999-2014 ).

Research tools

The study is done in order to grasp the ideas on what was the current state of River based tourism in Nepal. Certain research tools are required to achieve appropriate data and information certain tools are:

  • Observation: There are two types of observation which includes participative and non-participative.
  • Internet/books: The researcher read all the books and as well through online basis to collect the proper and appropriate data.
  • Interview: Interview simply means the conversation of a person gathering some information from another person. So, the researcher will gather all the possible data through the interview.
  • Questionnaire: Researcher draws some possible questionnaire to collect the necessary data. The researcher has collected some questions in which respondent will give all the possible answers, by this researcher will get the appropriate data.

The local respondent will be asked according to the questions collected or any information related to the respondents.

Data collection

Researcher will collect the data through online methods. Also the researcher would collect the data through face to face interview so researcher can get highest responses rate in survey research. Furthermore, this allows the researcher to get the appropriate answers. Finally data can be collected through online or face to face interview which saves the time and as well as data or information can be entered directly in the database safely and easily (University of Wisconsin Eau claire, n.d).

Data analysis

Data analysis is the process of the evaluating the data using analytical and logical reasoning to find out each component of the data provided (Dasta Analys, 2014). Data analysis is done by gathering data from various sources, then reviewed and then analyzed to find out the conclusion. The researcher collected all the data from the various source and came to the result.

Timeline of activities




1st week

2nd week

3rd week

4th week

1st week

2nd week

3rd week

Topic selection

Literature Review

Proposal written

Proposal Approval

Data collection/ Field Work

Data Analysis


Report write up



Researcher found that river is one of the most important resources of Nepal and it flows from Himalayan to Terai Region. Many foreigners visit Nepal for the purpose of rafting, cannoning or kayaking. There are many rivers which are suitable for rafting and some of them are Bhotekoshi River and Trishuli River. The pollution is increasing day by day in Kathmandu so the researcher found that the number of tourist is decreasing day by day.

Now the rivers are being polluted day by day so the researcher found that in the near future these types of adventurous activities like rafting, kayaking will be diminished soon. Not only rivers are for rafting or kayaking purpose one can their time by sitting at the bank of the river, relax and can watch the flow of rivers. Due to political instability of Nepal, most of the time there will be strike so this directly affect the economic condition of Nepal and by this many tourist could not come to visit Nepal.

The countries like US, England, Australia, and Canada mostly visit Nepal for the adventurous purpose like rafting or kayaking. The researcher has found that now rafting, kayaking are also categories into adventurous activities.


Q.1. Which are the potential river sites where river based tourism is possible?

Q.2. What are the different activities of river based tourism?

Q.3. What are the types of river suitable for river tourism?

Q.4. What are the potential customers of river based tourism?

Q.5. What are the government policies and plans for river based tourism


Himalayan River Operator Nepal. (2014). Rafting in Nepal. Retrieved from himalayanriveroperator: http://www.himalayanriveroperator.com/rafting-in-nepal.php

Nepal Gateway Trekking. (2014). Bhote Koshi River Rafting. Retrieved from nepalgatewaytrekking: http://www.nepalgatewaytrekking.com/nepal/rafting-kayaking-package/bhote-koshi-river-rafting.html

Binu. (2013, September 1). Adventure tourism gains popularity. Retrieved from ametreks: http://ametreks.com/blog/2013/09/01/adventure-tourism-gains-popularity/

Dasta Analys. (2014). Retrieved from Businessdictionary: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/data-analysis.html

Healey, M. (1999-2014 ). Tools for Qualitative Research. Retrieved from ehow: http://www.ehow.com/info_8036314_tools-qualitative-research.html

Himalayan River Operator. (2014). Kayak Clinics and Expedition. Retrieved from himalayanriveroperator: http://www.himalayanriveroperator.com/kayaking-in-nepal.php

Himalayan River Operator Nepal. (2014). Adventure Adrenaline Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking in Nepal. Retrieved from himalayanriveroperator: http://www.himalayanriveroperator.com/

Khadka, S. K. (n.d.). Nepal main rivers and watersheds. Retrieved from newworldatlas: http://newworldatlas.blogspot.com/2011/08/nepal-main-rivers-and-watersheds.html

Lohani, M. P. (2011). Harnessing Nepal Water Resources and expanding tourism potential . Retrieved from telegraphnepal: http://www.telegraphnepal.com/national/2014-11-20/harnessing-nepal-water-resources-and-expanding-tourism-potential.html

N.P. Bhandari, R. D. (n.d.). Preliminary Understanding of the Seti River Debris-Flood in. Retrieved from hils: http://www.hils.org.np/ranjan/papers/setiIssmg.pdf

prabin. (2010, March 28). NATURAL RESOURCES IN NEPAL: Forest, Water, Soil and Minerals. Retrieved from nepaldestination: http://nepaldestination.blogspot.com/2010/03/natural-resources.html

SAARC Tourism. (2009). Rivers of Nepal. Retrieved from nepal.saarctourism: http://nepal.saarctourism.org/rivers.html

Thamel Dot Com. (n.d.). Rivers of Nepal. Retrieved from thamel: http://www.thamel.com/htms/rivers.htm

University of Wisconsin Eau claire. (n.d). Quantitative and Qualitative Data collection methods . Retrieved from uwec: http://people.uwec.edu/piercech/ResearchMethods/Data collection methods/DATA COLLECTION METHODS.htm


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