Third country tourist arrivals decrease

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 4:

Despite numerous efforts to reposition Nepal, tourist arrivals to Nepal continued to decline for yet another month, as total tourist arrivals registered a decline by seven per cent in May.

According to the ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation, a total of 20,816 tourists came to Nepal by air in May. Tourist arrivals witnessed a net loss of 1,462 visitors in comparison to the same month last year. The decline in April was observed more in third country arrivals, which lowered by 10 per cent where as Indian arrivals levelled with that of last May with a slight decrease of two per cent only.

The Indian tourist arrivals improved with an advent of summer and vacationing season. The market share of the Indian visitors reached almost 50 per cent last month that explains the return of traveller’s confidence. The rise in Indian visitors could also be attributed to various promotional schemes launched jointly by Royal Nepal Airlines, Cosmic Air and Nepal Tourism Board. Arrivals from Bangladesh also went up remarkably. It posted 106 per cent growth this month. Although the number of tourist from the Asian countries in total went down, the number of tourists from some South East Asian countries in particular observed growth. Singaporean, South Korean and Thai arrivals went up by 20 per cent, five per cent and two per cent respectively. Arrivals from China however went down by 17 per cent as did from Malaysia that went down by 42 per cent.

Visitors from major markets like US, UK, Germany and Japan declined by two per cent, 15 per cent, nine per cent and 21 per cent respectively. The only increase was of the Belgian visitors by 10 per cent among the European traffic. Arrivals from North America declined by four per cent whereas Canadian arrivals went down by 12 per cent. Commenting on the arrival figures, Tek Bahadur Dangi, CEO at NTB said, “The softening in decline is certainly a positive message. Hosting of various international events has helped in increasing visitor’s confidence. Organising FAM trips — in coordination with travel trade bodies, NATTA Travel Mart, celebrations of events like the 50 years of first ascent to Mt Makalu and Mt Kanchenjunga, and Tenjing Hillary Everest Marathon — have helped in conveying the tourism friendly destination image to the visitors internationally.”