The country has been witnessing an upward trend since June 2009 continued for the third month of this year showing clearly the rising travel demand.
Visitor arrivals in March registered an increase of 37.2 per cent to 63,799 compared to the same month last year, revealed the figures released by Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
The arrivals from South Asian region gained overall positive growth of 61.4 per cent as India — the major market of Nepal — has recorded robust growth of 68.6 per cent with 6,606 more visitors compared to last March. India, which is the largest source market for Nepal, has been increasing since the beginning of 2010.
Similarly, visitor arrivals from Sri Lanka gained positive growth with 116.1 per cent along with Bangladesh (up by 19.7 per cent) and, Pakistan (up by 19.5 per cent), the data compiled by the Nepal Tourism Board said.
A robust growth of 29.7 per cent has been observed in the arrivals from the South Asian region during the first three months of 2012 compared to the same period last year.Arrivals from Asia — other than South Asia — have also recorded positive growth of 21.5 per cent in aggregate. "Visitor arrivals from China — one of the fastest growing tourist markets for Nepal — have sustained the remarkable growth of 47 per cent, compared to last March," it said, adding that other Asian countries also maintained the upward trend of previous months with Japan (up by 12.3 per cent), Malaysia (up by 4.6 per cent), South Korea (up by 24.8 per cent) and Thailand (up by 27.7 per cent).
An overall positive growth of 42 per cent has been observed from the European markets with arrivals from UK, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Poland and Russia up by 27.5 per cent, 85.9 per cent, 109.1 per cent, 13.9 per cent, 183.8 per cent, 103.7 per cent, 238.8 per cent and 53.6 per cent, respectively.
However, the arrivals from France, Italy and the Netherlands have declined by 3.9 per cent, 1.6 per cent and 7.7 per cent, respectively compared to the same month last year.Similarly, tourist arrivals from Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada and have increased by 5.3 per cent, 16.5 per cent, 13.7 per cent and 38.1 per cent, respectively.
In January-March period, international tourist arrivals increased by 27 per cent to 148,546 compared to the same period last year. "A total of 59,459 foreign tourists departed from TIA in March and some 58,277 Nepalis arrived, while 75,827 Nepalis departed from TIA in March," the data revealed.
With increased arrivals, March will also see one of the highest occupancy rates in the five-star hotels. "Last March had recorded one of the highest hotel occupancy rates in the five star hotels," according to a report of the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation. "Last March, the five-star hotels had recorded 62.94 per cent hotel occupancy, which was fourth highest occupancy among the 12 months in the year 2011."