August — the lean tourist season — has witnessed some 2.5 per cent increase in tourist inflow by air to 44,571, as compared to the same month of last year, figures released by Immigration Office, Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) revealed.
Arrivals from Bangladesh and Pakistan propelled South Asian tourist arrivals leading to an overall growth of 4.2 per cent from the region in August. But both Indian and Chinese arrivals recorded a negative growth.
"Visitor arrivals from Bangladesh has had a positive growth with 72.3 per cent, along with Pakistan at 17 per cent," according to data compiled by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).
However, arrivals from India, has recorded a negative growth of 1.2 per cent with 14,307 visitors, along with Sri Lanka at 15.7 per cent as compared to the same month last year. "A robust growth of 21.7 per cent has been observed in arrivals from the South Asian region during the first eight months of 2012 as compared to the same period last year," it said, adding that arrivals from Asia — other than South Asian region — have, however, recorded a positive growth of 0.6 per cent.
"Visitor arrivals from Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand have recorded a positive growth of 10.1 per cent, 15.5 per cent, 18.3 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively, as compared to August 2011."
But arrivals from China and Singapore have registered negative growths of 8.3 per cent and five per cent, respectively.
An overall positive growth of 6.1 per cent has been observed from the European markets with arrivals from Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Sweden up by 26.3 per cent, 104.5 per cent, 21.6 per cent, 0.7 per cent, 61.6 per cent, 20.3 per cent, 104.9 per cent, 22.6 per cent and 143 per cent, respectively.
However, arrivals from Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and UK declined by 33 per cent, 2.6 per cent, 15.6 per cent and 2.7 per cent, respectively, as compared to the same month last year, the data showed.
Tourist arrivals from Australia increased by 2.7 per cent while arrivals from New Zealand, USA and Canada have decreased by 9.8 per cent, 1.9 per cent, and 13 per cent, respectively.
From January to August, international tourist arrivals to Nepal have increased by 16.3 per cent to 377,043.
A total of 51,737 foreign tourists departed from TIA in August, whereas some 47,000 Nepalis arrived and 68,776 Nepalis departed from TIA in August.
Nepal-Malaysia Travel Mart
KATHMANDU: Director general of Tourism Malaysia Dato Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, officiating chief executive officer of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Subash Nirola and commercial director of Malaysia Airlines Dr Hugh Noel Dunleavy jointly inaugurated the Nepal-Malaysia Travel Mart on Sunday in Kathmandu. NTB and Tourism Malaysia in conjunction with the launching of Malaysia Airlines organised the mart to cash in on the direct connectivity with ample prospects of bilateral flow of tourists vis-à-vis upward mobility of Malaysian tourists. With direct flights between Malaysia and Nepal by Malaysia’s national flag carrier, Malaysia Airlines, thrice a week, Nepal has now become a tourism hub for South East Asian tourists. Some 13 prominent tour operators from Malaysia took part in an interaction with more than 50 Nepali tour operators for mutual cooperation. Nepal-Malaysia Travel Mart 2012 is the first of its kind taking place in Nepal for both inbound and outbound tourism. Both NTB and Tourism Malaysia believe that this kind of travel marts will definitely help tour operators of both sides to understand each other’s market better by closely observing the strengths and weaknesses of tourism products. They are planning a similar travel mart in Malaysia soon in collaboration with Malaysia Airlines. In 2011, Nepal received 8,286 visitors from Malaysia. Though Malaysia is the number one destination for Nepal’s labour market, it also receives more than 30,000 Nepali tourists every year. Malaysia Airlines — that started its scheduled flights from Saturday — flies thrice a week on the Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur route and is expected to increase the flow of Malaysian tourists to Nepal.