Tourist inflow via air sees exponential growth

Visitors to Nepal

Visitors to Nepal

Tourist inflow to Nepal jumped by 46.8 per cent in the first six months of 2017, indicating signs of recovery in the tourism industry that was shattered by the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015 and the subsequent trade disruptions.

According to the Department of Immigration, the country received a total of 460,237 tourists in the first half of this year via air route, against 313,512 in the corresponding period of the previous year. Tourist arrivals in the first half of this year surpassed the figure of 2014, before the earthquake struck when country had received 412,461 tourists in the first six months.

Travel and tour entrepreneurs are upbeat about the revival of the tourism industry along with the increase in tourist arrivals.

“The earthquake and fuel crisis had adversely affected the flow of tourists in 2015 and 2016, but though the figure has increased this year, it is still a far cry from our target to bring in two million tourists by 2020,” said Madhusudan Acharya,president of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA).

Nepal a safe tourist destination

Nepal a safe tourist destination

Tourism entrepreneurs have cited weak infrastructure and high airfare as the major obstacles in tourist arrival growth.

“Nepal has been included among the top 10 travel destinations in 2017 by the Lonely Planet, a leading travel guide. Despite the positive message disseminated across the world, tourist flow is still tepid,” according to Binayak Shah, general secretary of Hotel Association Nepal.

Tourist arrival was at a record high in 2012, when the country had received 803,000 visitors by air. Entrepreneurs have said that the country is likely to receive even more number of tourists this year as the inflow of tourists is normally higher in the second half. The period between September and November is considered as the best tourist season in Nepal.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square

HAN General Secretary Shah informed that along with the large number of international organisations working in Nepal for post-quake reconstruction activities, the flow of visitors also increased as the reconstruction works gathered momentum since the beginning of this year. He stressed on the need to expand the country’s only international airport — Tribhuvan International Airport — and improve road connectivity.

“Air traffic congestion, high airfare and bleak road conditions are the major bottlenecks to raise the number of tourists,” Shah asserted. He alleged that the government is not serious towards developing critical infrastructure even though the private sector has substantially increased investment in the sector.

Visitor in Nepal

Visitor in Nepal

Shah also pointed out the prospect of bringing in more tourists from neighbouring India and China as the number of outbound travellers has been growing in these countries. Though the number of outbound travellers has been rising in India and China, the country has failed to tap the potential due to high airfare, he stated. “The airfare to Kathmandu is relatively higher at $350 for a 30-minute flight.”

In the January to June period this year, the country received a high number of tourists from India with a total of 89,196 visitors from the southern neighbour followed by China with 52,084 travellers via air. The country had received 54,224 tourists from India and 33,991 tourists from China in the same period of the previous year.

Source: Thehimalayantimes

Signs that proves Nepali Tourism Industry is reviving

I AM IN NEPAL NOW

I AM IN NEPAL NOW

The earthquake of 2015 and the trade embargo by India over the promulgation of the charter alienating the ethnic Madhesis group hit hard the Nepali tourism sector. But after a couple of years the tourism of industry is standing back. Here are the signs that proves Nepali tourism industry is reviving.

Increasing numbers of Hotels:

According to the data of the Tourism Department a total of 5 hundred and 85 tourist hotels are registered amongst which 10 are the five star rated. The Everest Hotel in Kathmandu is out of track after the earthquake in 2015.

Likewise, there are 3 four star, 31 three star, 43 two star, 33 one star and 4 hundred 65 tourist hotels. Along with this 2 hundred 27 homestays also has registered itself in the tourism department.

The flow of Tourists

According to the data from the Immigration Department of Nepal on 2016 a year after the major setback for the Nepali tourism industry about 7 Lakhs 29 Thousand 5 Hundred and 50 tourists came to Nepal. The Hotel Association of Nepal has set the target of increasing capacity of the hotels to hold 1. 8 Million Tourists by 2020. Within the 3 years the hotels in the Nepal are set to add about 4 thousand rooms to meet the target, half of these rooms are set to be added in the hotels of capital Kathmandu. This significantly will employ more people as one tourist can give employment opportunity to 12 people. In addition to it the Government of Nepal is set to announce the upcoming year as Tourism year.

The investment in the Tourism Sector of Nepal

The tourism sector of Nepal till now has investment of about 2 Hundred and 50 Billion rupees and 33 Billion rupees are in pipeline, set to be added. Amongst the tourism sectors the hotel or the hospitality sector of the Nepal is the major aspect to invite the tourists. Undermining the importance of the tourism an injection of 83 Billion Rupees is sure for the tourism sector of Nepal in coming 3 years. Amongst this the Government will be investing 8 Billion rupees and the private sector will share the remaining portion.

Employment by Tourism

Hotel Association Nepal’s President Amar man Shakya claims that the tourism sector of Nepal has created job opportunity to over 5 Lakhs people which is significant hike after the major setbacks in 2015.

Source: Tourismmail

Chaliye Pokhara (Lets go to Pokhara) campaign holds interaction in Patna, India

Chaliye Pokhara (Lets go to Pokhara)

Chaliye Pokhara (Lets go to Pokhara)

A team of Nepal tourism entrepreneurs held an interaction with Indian tourism entrepreneurs and media-persons in Patna, the capital of India’s Bihar state today.

The team is there as part of a campaign to publicise Nepal’s tourist destinations and attract India tourists. The efforts are part of the campaign entitled ‘Chaliye Pokhara’ in Hindi language (Lets go to Pokhara in English) started six years ago by the Western Region Hotel Association, Pokhara in support of the Nepal Tourism Board.

The campaign that is held every year will conclude on July 4 for this year.

Chaliye Pokhara (Lets go to Pokhara)

Chaliye Pokhara (Lets go to Pokhara)

The interaction focused on making Nepal’s tourist destinations known to Indian community and attracting the locals, said one of the participants of the team. The team includes 30 members from among tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara and Lumbini, officials of the NTB and media-persons.

Another interaction will be held in Lucknow later today, said the Association’s President Bikal Tulachan.

Chaliye Pokhara (Lets go to Pokhara)

Chaliye Pokhara (Lets go to Pokhara)

The campaign is aimed at reviving and strengthening tourism that was affected badly by the April 2015 earthquake, the India-imposed economic blockade and Tarai-Madhes protests.

Under the campaign, Indian tourists will be invited to visit Pokhara with an offer of a special package, said the Association’s General Secretary Ganesh Raj Pahari.

Source: TOURISMMAIL

Nepal tourism makes spectacular rebound

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Foreign tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 39.71 percent to 753,002 in 2016, boosted by robust visitor growth from India, China, the US, the UK and Sri Lanka, according to the statistics of the Department of Immigration.

However, 2016 arrivals are still 4.69 percent down from 2014 when the country welcomed 790,118 foreign visitors. The tourism boom is expected to continue in 2017 and remains a major growth driver for the economy even as the industry sees low overseas promotional activities.

October, November and December have been the most productive months for the industry, accounting for nearly one-third of total arrivals.

Tourist at Nepal

“It’s a dramatic growth. The industry is returning rapidly to its pre-earthquake growth level,” said Kedar Neupane, director general of the Department of Immigration. “The tourism boom is expected to continue in 2017 given a level of promotion by Nepal in the major source markets.”

He said that if the government, Nepal Tourism Board and private sector conducted aggressive promotional activities, this year could be an extraordinary year. “We can expect 1 million tourists in 2017 considering the current environment.”

Neupane said that Nepal could see a boom in Chinese arrivals this year following the move by the Chinese government to encourage travel to the country. China has announced Nepal Tourism Promotion Year 2017 in a bid to encourage its citizens to visit the Himalayan republic, according to the Nepal Embassy in Beijing.

Travelling in Nepal

“The industry carried out massive marketing activities in major source markets after the earthquakes, leading to a massive recovery,” said tourism entrepreneur Basant Raj Mishra. “The arrival of foreign volunteers as well as conferences held by I/NGOs in Nepal last year propelled growth.”

Suman Pandey, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter, said that 2017 looked promising; but the crumbling Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Nepal’s only international aerial gateway, could be a major setback.

“The hospitality industry in Nepal can accommodate more than 3 million tourists, but the airport is already choked with capacity constraints even though arrivals are way short of the one million mark,” he said.

TIA is currently served by 28 international carriers, and it has announced that it cannot accommodate more flights. “What does this statement mean? Of course, Nepal has become an attractive holiday destination for travellers, but TIA will remain the main obstacle to the growth of the industry.”

Nepal received a lot of media exposure following the earthquake which has aroused tremendous interest among potential travelers.

The world’s leading travel guide Lonely Planet has named Nepal the world’s ‘best value destination’ for 2017. Likewise, Nepal’s Langtang region has been featured in The New York Times ‘52 places to go in 2017’ list.

Nepal has also appeared in the January travel issue of chinadaily.com.cn. “Nepal remains a fabulous choice for budget-conscious travelers, whether it’s the country’s world famous trekking routes or the wildlife in the southern region. Travel costs per day are as low as $50 on average,” it said.

A breakdown of arrivals by market shows Indian travellers at the top of the list. Arrivals from the southern neighbour reached 118,249 last year, up 57.40 percent. Chinese tourist arrivals jumped 55.26 percent to 104,005. Travel trade entrepreneurs said that Chinese arrivals did not increase as expected last year as the key entry point,

Tatopani Customs in Sindhupalchok, was closed after the earthquake. However, Rasuwagadhi has emerged as an important surface route with 23,452 Chinese visitors entering the country through this point last year.

Meanwhile, visitors from the US, Sri Lanka and the UK jumped 25.67 percent, 29.64 percent and 55.71 percent respectively.

Source: Kathmandu Post