Published on : Wednesday, January 9, 2019
The arrivals crossed the coveted one-million mark for the first time in 2018 with 1.17 million foreign tourists streaming into the country.
According to the Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal tourism reached the magic figure due to a jump in arrivals from India, China, the US, Sri Lanka and the UK. The number of tourists visiting Nepal recorded a 24.77 percent growth over last year.
Among the total arrivals, 969,287 individuals came by air. The arrivals from Nepal’s southern neighbour grew 25.1 percent to 200,438 individuals. Indian tourists who travelled to Nepal overland are not included in the tourism statistics.
The board said that arrivals from China saw the strongest growth of 46.8 percent to 153,602 individuals in 2018, largely due to increased flight frequencies between the two countries. According to the statistics, 26,694 Chinese visitors entered Nepal through the Rasuwagadhi border point.
Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari said that this remarkable growth right after the announcement of the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign has buoyed the spirits of the travel trade industry. This has prepared a sound and solid platform to achieve the target of hosting 2 million foreign tourists by 2020.
The last two months of 2018 were productive months. Nepal received a record 147,859 tourists in November, up 48 percent year-on-year. The December or winter season saw 121,620 tourists. In the past, tourists usually returned home to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Day during this season, and it was considered the off season in Nepal. The board said that the last two months of 2018 alone recorded a 47 percent increase in tourist arrivals year-on-year.
Deepak Raj Joshi, chief executive officer of the Nepal Tourism Board, said that the consecutive growth in tourist arrivals in the last three years had instilled confidence in tourism stakeholders.