Kathmandu, May 28
Foreign tourists from five countries accounted for 47 per cent of the total foreign tourists that visited Nepal in 2017, according to the recently unveiled Economic Survey by the government.
A total of 940,217 foreign tourists (via air routes) had visited Nepal in 2017 and almost half of this tourist arrival figure accounted for visitors from India, China, United States, United Kingdom and Sri Lanka, states the Economic Survey.
“Among these five nations, the number of tourists from India and China are increasing every year,” the survey report states.
While Indian tourist accounted for 17.1 per cent of total tourist arrival figures in Nepal in 2017, Chinese and United States tourists accounted for 11.1 per cent and 8.44 per cent, respectively. Of 940,217 foreign tourists in 2017, 5.4 per cent were from United Kingdom and 4.8 per cent from Sri Lanka.
According to the Economic Survey, 81 per cent of total foreign tourists arrived in Nepal in 2017 via air-routes and remaining 19 per cent (mainly Indian tourists) arrived from land routes.
However, the average stay of foreign tourists in Nepal went down in 2017 to 12.6 days compared to an average of 13.4 days in 2016. But the per day expenditure of foreign tourists in Nepal increased to $54 in 2017 compared to per day spending of $53 in 2016, according to the Economic Survey.
In 2016-17, the foreign currency earnings from tourism sector was recorded at Rs 58.5 billion, while the country earned almost Rs 43.5 billion in foreign currency from the sector in the first eight months of the ongoing fiscal year.
As per the Economic Survey, Lumbini was the most visited tourist destination in Nepal in 2017. Altogether 1.5 million tourists (domestic and foreign) had visited Lumbini in 2017, which was an increase of 21 per cent compared to 2016. In 2016, 1.28 million tourists had visited the site.
A version of this article appears in print on May 29, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.