KATHMANDU:Fuelled by European and Chinese markets, this tourist season started with an increase in tourists arrivals by air as September is the fourth consecutive month that Nepal has witnessed positive growth in international tourists arrivals. September observed an encouraging growth of Chinese tourists arrivals by 32 per cent against arrivals from India that decreased by 24 per cent in comparison to last September, according to figures released by the Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
Overall visitor arrivals by air in September increased by 5.5 per cent to 34,281 — in comparison to last September — thanks to Chinese and European visitors’ inflow.
“Recovery in arrivals in the beginning of the second half of 2009 is due to the recovery from recession in Europe. As the world economy comes out of the global recession, tourism activities are forecast to expand as a result of rebounding consumer confidence,” said Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).
However, as advanced economies are projected to expand sluggishly, the impact of recovery in tourism sector could be realised slowly.
The data reveal that arrivals from Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand registered a robust growth. The Asian market also witnessed an increase.
Visitors from Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand increased by 25.1 per cent, two per cent, 25 per cent and 43.6 per cent, respectively.
Though the Asian segment registered a positive growth of 22.5 per cent in aggregate, visitors from Malaysia and Chinese Taipei declined by 5.4 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively,” said the board.
In the SAARC region, arrivals from Bangladesh skyrocketed to 1,898 registering a positive growth of above 200 per cent to 245.7 per cent. Similarly, Pakistan and Sri Lanka witnessed positive growth of 8.4 per cent and 10.2 per cent, respectively.
The decrease of Indian tourists pulled down the total South Asian arrivals in aggregate and the South Asian segment registered a negative growth of 5.7 per cent, data reveal. An overall positive growth of 8.9 per cent was observed from European markets with arrivals from UK, Switzerland, and Italy up by 24 per cent, 15 per cent and 13.5 per cent, respectively.
Arrivals from France, Germany and Spain registered a negative growth of 1.7 per cent, 11.6 per cent and 6.6 per cent, respectively.
Arrivals from Australia, Canada and USA registered a growth of 10.6 per cent, 22.5 per cent and 21.4 per cent, respectively while arrivals from New Zealand declined by 13.3 per cent compared to last September.
Meanwhile, a total of 30,410 foreign tourists and 45,437 Nepalis departed from TIA in September. The number of Nepali arrivals at TIA stood at 60,715.