The Kathmandu Post, 18 May 2018
Nepal received 98,650 foreign visitors in the month of April, up 11.4 percent as compared to the same period last year, according to the Department of Immigration statistics.
With this, the arrival figures for the January-April period has reached 386,030, an increase of 13 percent over the same period in 2017. The healthy tourist arrivals figure indicates that Nepal is likely to receive more than 1 million tourists this year. Tourist arrivals to Nepal hit a new record in 2017 but remained short of the much ballyhooed target of 1 million individuals as national elections in November and December resulted in weaker-than-expected growth.
The country received 940,218 tourists last year, up 24.86 percent from 2016.
According to the statistics, arrivals from India and Sri Lanka grew by 13.8 percent and 26.4 percent respectively in April this year. The overall arrivals from Saarc countries registered a growth of 8.5 percent in April as compared to the same month last year. However, visitor numbers from Bangladesh plunged by 26.5 percent. Visitor arrivals from China continue to soar, growing by 45.9 percent in April.
Arrivals from Asia (other than Saarc) have also recorded growth of 28.1 percent. Likewise, visitors from Malaysia and Thailand to Nepal increased by 17.8 percent and 26.7 percent.
As far as European source markets are concerned, overall growth of 5.1 percent in April has been recorded. France gained 28.8 percent while arrivals from the UK and Germany declined by 7.4 percent and 12.2 percent respectively. Tourist arrivals from Australia and New Zealand have also increased by 2.5 percent and 18.9 percent respectively.
Visitors from the US and Canada have also grown by 7.9 percent and 8.1 percent respectively. The sustained growth in international arrivals to Nepal in 2018 is a continuation of the positive trend that started in 2016, Nepal Tourism Board, the country’s tourism promotional body said.
“It can be safely inferred that the concerted efforts of the government, Nepal Tourism Board and the private sector in positioning Nepal in the international markets as an attractive and safe destination and reviving the confidence of international visitors and travel entrepreneurs are well reflected in the visitor arrivals.”