The Himalayan Times, July 18, 2019
While the country is conducting Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign aiming to bring two million tourists by 2020, the recent tourist arrival data show that it is still struggling to bring in 100,000 tourists per month.
As per the recent tourist arrival data compiled by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), a total of 585,531 tourists visited Nepal via both air and land routes in the first six months of this year, which is 12.6 per cent more than the same period of last year when it stood at 490,534.
As 2019 is a base year for 2020, the country will have to welcome at least 150,000 tourists per month to attain its target of two million tourists in 2020.
As mentioned in the NTB report, Nepal welcomed most number of tourists from India, followed by China in the first half of the year. According to NTB a total of 103,461 Indian tourists arrived in Nepal in the first six months, up 7.36 per cent compared to the same period of last year. Similarly, a total of 85,318 Chinese tourists visited the country in the first half, which is 19.53 per cent more than in the same period of last year.
Likewise, the number of American tourists reached 48,201, while the country welcomed 28,951 visitors from the UK and 28,790 from Sri Lanka in the first half of this year. The tourist arrivals from Sri Lanka increased by 52 per cent this year compared to the same period of last year.
Most of the Buddhist tourists come from Sri Lanka.
Similarly, the country received 32,365 visitors from Thailand, 19,101 from South Korea and 16,330 from Japan, an increase of 38.15 per cent, 5.34 per cent and 17.9 per cent, respectively, against the arrival figures of corresponding period of last year.
Meanwhile, the overall arrivals from South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries registered a sturdy growth of 10.4 per cent over the same period last year, with 144,957 total tourist arrivals this year. Besides, the European arrivals also surged with sustained growth from the key markets, with 104,783 total arrivals in first six months of 2019.