Tourist arrivals pick up

Kathmandu, July 5:

Due to changed political atmosphere in Nepal, the number of tourists arriving Nepal via air has shot up by 13.8 per cent during the month of June - compared to the same period last year - registering a recovery in total tourist arrivals.

A total of 21,444 tourists came to Nepal during the month against 18,840 visitors’ arrival in last June.

The number of Indian visitors went up by 23 per cent, while the non-Indian arrivals declined by a mere 0.7 per cent, according to the ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation (MoCTCA).

The Indian tourist arrivals have shown an impressive recovery, as the number of visitors coming to Nepal fairly improved from the previous months.

The third country arrivals, which is still negative, have also improved against the last month’s fall of over 18 per cent.

A total of 14,189 Indian visitors came to Nepal in June against 11,532 tourists last June.

The non-Indian tourist arrivals stood at 7,255 during the month, while the figure was 7,308 in June last year.

The overall tourist arrivals, especially the Indian tourists, started picking up after the restoration of democracy in April and the growth in arrival remarkably picked up this month. The arrivals particularly from short-haul market like SAARC and South East Asia, however, remained negative.

The number of tourist arrivals from SAARC region, except India, continued to drop and the other Asian markets have also decreased during the month, according to the report.

Arrivals from China, Japan and Taiwan came down by 10.7 per cent, 16.2 per cent and 72.9 per cent respectively.

From the European markets — Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Spain — the number showed growth in arrivals by 148.5 per cent, 79.4 per cent, 43.4 per cent, 14.1 per cent, 25.6 per cent, 21.4 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

Other markets from where the number of tourist arrivals picked up are Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America among the long haul tourist markets.

Negative growth was recorded from the major markets like the United Kingdom, Denmark and Netherlands.

The tourist arrivals from Australia has increased by 16.4 per cent, while the arrivals from Denmark and UK went down by 42.5 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively.

On the other hand, the total tourist arrivals during the first half of 2006 is satisfactory, although it is lower than what was anticipated.

The total tourist arrivals from January to June this year registered a growth of 8.9 per cent to 121,595 tourists against 111,705 arrivals during the same period last year.