Tourist arrival figures fail to bring smile on entrepreneurs’ face

Tourists seated on elephants by four and prepared for elephant safari at Chitwan National Park,  Sauraha. Photo: File photo
Tourists seated on elephants by four and prepared for elephant safari at Chitwan National Park, Sauraha. Photo: File photo

KATHMANDU, Nepal- Though the data reveled by Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) said the tourists arrival on the month of July have recorded positive growth with the number increased by 0.28 percent as compared to the same period last year, the figures failed to bring smile on the faces of travel tourism traders as the number of increased tourist is limited to one hundred and seven

This year 38 thousand 5 hundred and 60 foreigners came to Nepal in the month of July via Tribhuvan International Airport, the only international airport in the country. Last year, the number was 38 thousand 4 hundred and 53.

“The figures were not much encouraging as the number of travel and tour operators in the country are more,” Madhusudan Pyakurel, a travel tour operator who is also affiliated to an association related to the field said, adding that the business in this situation will be limited to some agencies.

Though the number of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal has increased, another southern neighbor has recorded the negative growth.

According to the TIA data, the arrivals from South Asian region have shown mixed performance. The arrivals from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have increased by 32.26% and 61.68% respectively whereas India and Pakistan markets declined by 15.74% and 57.76% respectively.

In July the Indian arrival decreased by 15.74 percent. Last year 15 thousand Indian tourists have visited Nepal in the month of July but this year the number was limited to 12 thousand 6 hundred and 39.  In the seven months period, altogether 89 thousand 5 hundred Indians have visited Nepal this year but last year the number was more than 1 lakh 12 thousand and one hundred.

Entrepreneurs are worried with the downfall trend in arrival figures from the major countries. “Decrease in the number of arrivals from major countries is not the good sign for tourism industry,” Pravakar Dhital, a travel operator said. Dhital said so because, not only India, but arrivals from other countries were also not encouraging. Aggregate visitor arrivals decreased by 3.5% to 320,989 for the period between Jan-July 2013 compared to the same month last year.

In the period arrivals from Denmark, Germany, France, Norway, Spain and Switzerland were down by 0.87%, 6.79%, 7.70%, 53.33%, 14.97% and 30.92% respectively.

Visitor arrivals from Asia (other than South Asia region) have recorded positive growth of 14.36% with China (17.91%), and Malaysia (77.10%), South Korea (0.90%) and Thailand (87.21%) showing positive growth. However, arrivals from Singapore and Japan have registered negative growths of 2.16% and 12.19% respectively.

From long-haul markets, Europe registered overall positive growth of 6.59% . Arrivals from Belgium, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, and Russia have recorded positive growth of 54.35%, 22.32%, 3.45%, 27.32% and 62.62% respectively.

Likewise, arrivals from Canada and the United States of America also registered positive growth of 107.10% and 5.10% respectively. Australia posted positive growth of 32.58% while New Zealand showed decrease in arrival figure by 7.63%.

A total of 43,063 foreign tourists departed from TIA in July 2013.


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