Tourists’ arrival up in June

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, July 3:

Half-yearly figure shows 37 per cent growth .

Tourists coming to Nepal by air in June increased by five per cent compared to the same period last year, while third country arrivals grew by 31 per cent. However, Indian tourists arrival went down by eight per cent during the period. According to the figures released by the Department of Immigration and complied by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), the half yearly figure of the tourists’ arrival grew by 37 per cent in comparison to the first six months of last year, reaching the total of 149,556 visitors. This is contributed by 48 per cent increase in third country arrivals and 18 per cent growth in Indian tourists arrivals. In June, however, the arrivals from India observed the first ever decline in this year. This is largely due to the non-availability of some regular air seats.

According to industry sources, transporters strike called during June 1-4, Bandh called on June 2nd and further confusion of Bandhs led to a series of cancellations in June. With the recent addition of one new private airlines and another soon to start operations from India, it is widely speculated that the figures are subject to grow rapidly July onwards. The third country arrivals — Japan and the US, the major markets for Nepal — rose by 12 per cent and 34 per cent respectively. The European market — if taken in a single segment with countries like Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria, UK, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, Spain and Italy — registered a growth of 80 per cent in June. But this growth is largely based on last year’s figure, which has shown a sharp decline.

Commenting on the figures, Tek Bahadur Dangi, chief executive officer at NTB, says that half-year growth indicates a promising year ahead. With the present welcoming climate for tourists within the country and more airlines flying into Nepal, he expressed that the growth rate would continue for the rest of the year, too. Meanwhile, in comparison to 1999 June, when the arrival numbers had reached 27,728, the figures of last month are still low by 33 per cent.

Growing trend

•UK up 15pc to 687 visitors

•US up 34pc to 1,370 visitors

•Germany up 82pc to 426 visitors

•Japan up 12pc to 482 visitors

•France up 29 pc to 268 visitors

•China up 295pc to 336 visitors

•India down 8pc to 10,986 visitors

— figures of June, 2004