As anticipated, the year 2011 started with healthy arrivals of international tourists in the very beginning of January.
The first month of the year witnessed an increase of 26.2 per cent to 32,914 compared to the same month last year, according to the figures released by Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
Chinese and Indian visitors propelled the growth as the Chinese market posted 79.6 per cent and Indian market recorded a 35.5 per cent growth in January, the data revealed.
"However, all the regions have shown positive growth in the first month of 2011," the Immigration Office said, adding that in the SAARC region, arrivals from Bangladesh and Pakistan have registered positive growth by 10.3 per cent and 13.3 per cent respectively.
The arrivals from Srilanka, has however, declined by 47.5 per cent. "In aggregate the South Asian segment has registered a positive growth of 28.8 per cent," it added.
Arrivals from Asia (other than South Asia) also recorded positive growth of 36.6 per cent in aggregate with all markets showing improved performance. The visitor's arrivals from China have increased significantly by 79.6 per cent.
Similarly, the arrivals from Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and South Korea have also increased by 8.2 per cent, 51.9 per cent, 29.1 per cent, 3.2 per cent and 20.3 per cent, respectively.
Nepal has enjoyed a sustained positive growth in the international visitor arrivals since June 2009 and the trend continues even in year 2011. The figures reflect rising confidence among international visitors and tour operators to Nepal. The sustained positive growth is expected to be helpful in achieving the target of one million tourists in Nepal Tourism Year 2011, according to the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).
An overall positive growth of 14.6 per cent has been observed from the European markets with arrivals from major generating markets such as the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia up by 7.5 per cent, 35.3 per cent, 48.9 per cent and 40.3 per cent, respectively.
However, the arrivals from France, Italy and Switzerland have declined by 17.4 per cent, five per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively compared to the same month last year.
Tourist arrivals from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA have also registered robust growth of 23.8 per cent, 59.7 per cent, 9.8 per cent and 27.6 per cent, respectively.
According to the data, a total of 40,507 foreign tourists departed from TIA in the month of January, whereas the number of Nepali arrivals stood at 64,755 and 72,100 Nepalis departed from TIA in January.