Kathmandu, January 12
The number of tourist arrivals in 2019 declined slightly compared to the arrivals in 2018. As per the data compiled by the Department of Immigration (DoI), a total of 1.17 million tourists visited Nepal in 2019 via air and land route while in 2018 a total of 1.52 million tourists had visited Nepal.
Like in every year, in 2019 too, Nepal welcomed the highest number of tourists from India. According to DoI, a total of 209,611 Indian tourists visited Nepal while 169,543 Chinese tourists visited Nepal in 2019. Meanwhile, the United States stood at the third position as 93,196 tourists visited the country. Likewise, 61,139 tourists from United Kingdom and 55,869 tourists from Sri Lanka visited Nepal.
Among the top five countries to visit Nepal, the number of tourists from the UK and Sri Lanka declined in 2019. As per DoI, 63,086 travellers from the UK and 70,610 tourists from Sri Lanka visited Nepal last year. Likewise, the number of Thai tourists also declined from 53,250 in 2018 to 41,653 in 2019.
Similarly, the number of tourists visiting Nepal from France, South Korea and Spain also declined to 30,644, 29,679 and 19,057, respectively in 2019 compared with 31,653, 37,142 and 20,210, respectively in 2018.
Tourist arrivals in 2019 declined even during the peak tourist season. As per the data compiled by DoI, the number of tourists visiting Nepal was 130,745 in October of 2018 while during the same period in 2019 only 123,267 tourists visited the country. Likewise, in November last year 147,859 tourists had visited Nepal while in the same period of 2019 only 98,548 tourists visited the country.
According to Nepal Tourism Board, flight obstruction due to the rehabilitation works at Tribhuvan International Airport and the halt in flight operations by a few international airline companies hit the tourist arrival figure last year. Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said that the number of international passengers coming to the country via the air route in 2019 declined to 3.7 million from 4.3 million in 2018.
A version of this article appears in print on January 13, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.