Laxmi Capital News
Tourist arrivals down 16 percent in Q1

Chinesearrivals surpass Indian tourist numbers

Touristarrivals to Nepal via air over the first three months of 2018 fell by 16percent compared to total arrivals in the same period a year earlier.

According tothe Department of Immigration (DoI), a total of 217,000 foreign touristsentered Nepal via aerial route in the review period of 2018, down from 252,984in the first three months of 2017.

Data releasedby DoI shows tourist arrivals fell in all three months of 2018 compared to2017. Nepal welcomed 57,557 foreign tourists via air in January this year,while arrival figures in February and March were 66,185 and 93,258,respectively. Last year, total tourist arrival was 62,632 in January and 84,061in February, while it was 106,291 March.

Similarly, atotal of 69,866 tourists entered Nepal via land route. According to DoI, Nepalwelcomed 15,632 tourists in January, 22,806 in February and 31,428 in March vialand route.

Number oftourists from China via air was higher than India in the first quarter of the2018. According to DoI, Nepal received 36,384 tourists from the northernneighbor in the review period while tourist arrival from India in the firstthree months of 2018 was 34,133. 

Nepal hadwelcomed 29,684 tourists from China (via air) in the first three months of2017.

As China andIndia are among the fastest growing tourism markets in the world, Nepal hasbeen prioritizing these markets in recent years. Private enterprises are alsosparing no effort to bring more tourists from these countries.

Talking toRepublica, Binayak Shah, general secretary of Hotel Association Nepal (HAN),said overall trend in tourist arrival over the past year has been encouragingfor the tourism sector. “Several promotional activities have been launchingfocusing China and India. This has resulted into healthy growth in the numberof tourists from China,” he said, adding that he was hopeful that arrivals fromIndia will also pick up in the coming days.

Sarad Pradhan,media consultant of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), said this is the first time thatnumber of tourists from China has surpassed Indian arrivals. “Several effortsof the government and the private sector have finally paid dividends,” he said,adding: “Frequent media FAM trips, improving air connectivity and the recentChinese New Year, which sees huge outbound movement every year, are the majorreasons behind healthy growth in Chinese tourist numbers.”

Pradhanexpects the tourist numbers to grow further in the remaining months of 2018.

Shah of HANbelieves that number of Indian tourists will increase in the coming months. “AsIndians will have holiday in the coming months, arrivals from the southernneighbor will increasing in the coming months,” he added.

Shah also saidthat he was hopeful that the target of welcoming 1.5 million tourists by 2020can be achieved easily if growth from China and India continues further.

Source : MyRepublica, 16th April 2018

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