Tourist arrival in Nepal down by 38 percent - news

Teej festival - Pashipatinath nabij Kathmandu

Tourist arrival in Nepal down by 38 percent - news


Tourism industry saw a sharp drop of 38 percent in tourist arrival in April, as the state of emergency dented Nepal’s image in the international market, thereby discouraging tourists to visit the country.
The figure released by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) shows that a total of 18,879 tourists entered Nepal by air during the month, down from 30,402 tourists over the same month last year.
The growing trend of tourists arrivals was reversed following riots in the country last September 1.

Tourism experts said that fragile condition of the national carrier and comparatively ineffective marketing campaigns are major impediments to the growth of tourism industry. “Unless the national carrier becomes strong and competitive marketing strategies are floated in the international market, it is very difficult to revive the sagging tourism industry,” they said.

They are, however, optimistic that given the withdrawal of the state of emergency, the industry will begin to pick up to some extent in the months to come. An official at the NTB said that the present marketing campaign – ‘Buy three get one free package’ launched jointly by NTB, Royal Nepal Airlines and Cosmic Air in India and Bangladesh ahs been helping to lure tourists from these countries. “However, the campaign is too small to increase the overall flow of tourist arrivals in the country,” said he, adding that Nepal needs more aggressive marketing campaigns to counter negative publicity and boost tourist arrivals. He said that due to lack of budget, they are unable to carry out promotional campaigns aggressively in the international market and that they have introduced a new campaign to invite journalists from major tourism markets and publicize Nepal through them.
Country – wise tourist arrivals reveals that arrival if Indian tourists was down by 33 percent, while the number of tourists from the third countries posted a decline of 40 percent. According to the figure, some 5,058 Indian tourists visited the country in April, as compared to 7,511 Indian visitors in the same month last year. Some 13,821 tourists entered Nepal during the period, down from the number of 22,891 during the same period last month. Likewise, tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Japan and Australia were down by 29 percent, 33 percent, 30 percent, 45 percent and 30 percent respectively, with their numbers decreasing to 1,581, 1,216, 983, 1,051 and 610. Meanwhile, the total number of tourists visiting the country in the first four months in 2005 decreased by 34 percent. Some 72,049 arrived in Nepal during the period, down from 108,608 tourists during the corresponding period last year.

The Kathmandu Post, May 3, 2005



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