Tourist arrivals jump by 27pc
KATHMANDU, Oct 5 - With the establishment of peace in the country, the tourism industry is showing a revival. The tourism industry saw a 27 percent growth in tourist arrivals in September, says the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).
Figures compiled by the NTB shows that 32,331 tourists traveled into the country by air during the month, up from the 25,484 recorded during the same month last year.
According to the data, the European market showed the most robust growth. The number of British, Spanish, German and Danish tourists soared by 32.1 percent, 49.1 percent, 25.2 percent and 86.5 percent respectively.
A total of 2,360 tourists from Britain, 1,743 from Spain, 2,039 from Germany and 289 from Denmark made trips to Nepal during the month. Likewise, tourist arrivals from the Netherlands jumped by 79.4 percent to 834 this September.
The growth in the American market was equally encouraging. The number of tourists from America went up by 38.9 percent to 2,242. Likewise, arrivals from Canada grew by 36.5 percent to 464 tourists.
In the Asian markets, China and Singapore registered the biggest gains. The number of Chinese tourists visiting the country skyrocketed by 158.8 percent to 1,765, and the 250 Singaporeans that arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) this September was 142.7 percent more than the number that came in September last year.
However, the arrival trend of Indian tourists has been disappointing. It recorded a fall of 4.4 percent during the month compared to the same period last year. According to the data, 6,784 Indian tourists visited the country in September this year, while in September 2006, the number of visitors that landed at TIA was 7,098.
Tourism entrepreneurs said that the lack of adequate air accessibility and higher air fares had resulted in Indian travelers choosing Southeast Asian destinations like Malaysia, Bangkok and Singapore.
"The air fare on the New Delhi-Kathmandu route can cover nearly all the expenses of a tour package to these countries," said a tourism entrepreneur. In addition, frequent cancellation of flights by the national flag carrier - Nepal Airlines Corporation - also hampered the tourism industry.
NTB, in a statement issued on Thursday, expressed hope that the festival season, which is to begin soon, will entice more Indian tourists to visit Nepal in the coming months.
Meanwhile, the total tourist arrivals during the first nine months of 2007 rose by 32.3 percent. A total of 252,407 tourists visited the country during the period. In the same period last year, 190,796 tourists had landed at the country's sole international airport.
Tourist arrivals growth in September
Country Up by Number
China 158.8% 1,756
Singapore 142.7% 250
Britain 32.1% 2,360
USA 38.9% 2,242
Germany 25.2% 2,039