Air tourist arrivals rising, S Asia keeps market afloat

Kathmandu, October 2:

Tourist arrivals in September by air recorded an increase by two per cent.

Figures released by the immigration office, at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) reveal that till September this year were 2,57,181. “The figures represent an increase of two per cent in comparison to the same period last year,” said the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). However, the arrival figures this September compared to the same month last year have increased by only one per cent to 32,502.

India — the largest tourist generating market for Nepal showed a remarkable growth of 14 per cent in September. The entire South Asian region has gained overall 13 per cent with Bangladesh (three per cent) and Sri Lanka (eight per cent), except for arrivals from Pakistan that have decreased by eight per cent, NTB added.

Similarly, other Asian countries - China, Singapore and Malaysia have maintained the upward trend with eight per cent, 29 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively.

Israel, France, Australia and Norway also maintained the increasing trend in arrival figures. Arrivals from the United States of America and Canada also increased in September in comparison to the same month last year.

However, other major markets such as Japan, South Korea and Thailand witnessed negative growth in arrival figures by 21 per cent, 40 per cent and seven per cent respectively. European arrivals also suffered a significant decline with UK (nine per cent), Italy (35 per cent), Germany (20 per cent) and Spain (13 per cent), respectively.

In September, a total of 26,770 tourists departed from TIA, according to NTB.