Tourist arrivals rise by 9.6pc

Kathmandu, July 5:

The encouraging trend in tourist arrivals to Nepal continued for yet another month, although the pace slowed down a bit.

The month of June saw an increase of 9.6 per cent with a total arrival of 23,502 tourists compared to the same month last year. 21,444 tourists via air had visited Nepal in June 2006.

The arrival figures released by the Immigration Office at the Tribhuvan International Airport show that the European market recorded a strong growth of 39 per cent during the month, in keeping with the ascending trend of arrivals every month this year.

Indian arrivals, however, dropped by 12.8 per cent. Despite this, the Indian market alone contributed more than 50 per cent of the total arrivals. A total of 12,379 Indian tourists visited Nepal during the month against 14,189 arrivals in June last year.

Overall, the Asian market registered a commendable upsurge in arrivals with a significant rise of 289.5 per cent from China, 235.4 per cent from Taiwan and 11.7 per cent from Japan. The major tourist generating markets from both Europe and America registered a healthy growth this month, despite some records of negative trend from France and Italy. Can-ada and USA markets grew by 81.4 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively. Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway recorded a remarkable growth, more th-an doubling the number of arrivals compared to corresponding month last year.

Other major markets with bigger share in total arrivals from the European segment like UK, Germany and Spain also showed a healthy growth of 48.1 per cent, seven per cent and 71.7 per cent, respectively.

The total arrival figures till June 2007 has reached 167,133, up by 37.5 per cent or 45,538 arrivals compared to the same period last year. This clearly shows that tourism sector is registering a gradual yet strong recovery. All tourist generating markets have performed notably well, as arrivals from them have registered a growth during the first half of 2007.

The drop in the arrivals from Indian market, considered as a major volume market, is a matter of concern. Election in the state of Uttar Pradesh and good number of flow maintain-ed by the non-Indian travellers from overseas via India, had a cascading effect on availability of seats from India. This has created a dearth in seat availability from major Indian metros.