Tourist arrivals shoot up sharply

Kathmandu, June 7:

The positive trend in international tourists’ arrival to Nepal continued for yet another month, as the total arrival posted a sound growth of 49.6 per cent for the month of May 2007 compared to the same period last year.

A total of 27,759 tourists came to Nepal during the month via air only, which is up against 18,550 visitors in May 2006.

Of the two major market segments, the Indian market continued with a healthy growth of 27.9 per cent, while the non-Indian market posted a sound growth of 74.2 per cent during the month, states a Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) press release, quoting the figures provided by the Immigration Office at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.

The SAARC segment grew constantly in May 2007 with an encouraging growth from the

Indian market with 12,555 tourists visiting Nepal during the month. A total of 9,823 Indian tourists had visited last year.

Other countries in this segment also posted a sound growth as arrivals from Bangladesh recorded a 204.2 per cent increment and 154.5 per cent from Pakistanis. Sri Lanka is the only country from where the arrival trend went down by 28 per cent.

The Asian segment, too, registered an immense growth of 214.5 per cent with Malaysian arrivals escalating by 496.6 per cent to 348, along with Singapore at 2958.3 per cent. The other primary markets registering growth are Japan at 18.3 per cent, South Korea at 743.4 per cent, Thailand at 704.4 per cent and ROC Taiwan at 243.2 per cent.

European arrivals cornered a one-third market share during the month, with encouraging growth from major tourist generating markets like UK, France and Germany. These three markets posted a growth of 86.3 per cent, 94.6 per cent and Germany 48.4 per cent, respectively.

Rest of the European markets also showed a sharp upward trend like Italy (169.4 per cent),

the Netherlands (81.6 per cent), and Spain (55 per cent). The Australian and USA market too, increased by 30.9 per cent and 71.1 per cent respectively.

Despite the increased demand for Nepal as a preferred destination, the shortage of

air seats to Nepal continues to hamper further growth.