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Arrivals grow by 9% in Nepal

Visitors arriving to Nepal by air in 2004 reached a total figure of 288,356, showing an increase by 9% compared to…

Visitors arriving to Nepal by air in 2004 reached a total figure of 288,356, showing an increase by 9% compared to last year, 2003. The growth was contributed by an increase of 13% amongst non-Indian visitors despite the marginal decline in Indian visitors by 1%.

On the other hand, arrivals in December 2004 declined by 14% with a net loss of 25% visitors traffic from non-Indian segment while the Indian arrivals grew up by 7% in comparison to the same month last year. This was indicated in the figures released today by the Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport. A total of 22,242 visitors came to Nepal during the month of December.

Compared to last year, the year-end of 2004 however has performed positively in totality. The only countries with negative growth are Japan (-10%), New Zealand (-8%), Sri Lanka (-1%) and India. The higher growths are observed from France (20%), Italy (41%), China (31%), Spain (43%), Australia (21%), Taiwan (26%) and Canada (31%). Arrivals from the U.S has grown by 5%, UK by 10%, Germany by 8% and Netherlands by 20%.

The first eight months of 2004 showed a continuous growth in visitors` arriving to Nepal. The first quarter in particular grew by 50% where as the second quarter went up by 25%. But after the street protest in the capital on September 1st, against the aftermath of Iraq incident, the arrivals started to recede. The various blockades, protests, demonstrations and closures as well as travel advisories of some tourist generating countries damaged the arrival trend in the second half of the year. Both the market segment started to decline but Indian market gradually picked up and even increased in December. The year 2004 would have ended up very positively in tourist arrivals had the incident of September 1st not occurred. Since such incidents are rare and unfortunate, 2005 is expected to perform easy double-digit growth in the light of increasing travelers` confidence to Nepal and increasing air links from various countries.

In order to understand the changing image and preference towards Nepal as holiday destination among the Indian visitors, Nepal Tourism Board carried out a survey among the departing Indian visitors in December 2004. It was observed that Indian visitors still have high regard for Nepal as holiday destination where as the Indian media had a great influence among them to portray Nepal`s image. There was a great influence of repeat visit and recommendation from friends and family to travel to Nepal. Easy accessibility, warm & hospitable people and pilgrimage still remain as major attractions for Indians to travel to Nepal.

Highlights: International Visitor Arrivals (by air) for the year 2004.

  • India down 1% to 86,328 visitors
  • UK up 10% to 21,202 visitors
  • Japan down 10% to 1,7596 visitors
  • US up 5% to 17,525 visitors
  • Germany up 8% to 16,635 visitors
  • France up 20% to 15,806 visitors
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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.