Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tourist arrivals via air drop in last eight months, CAAN restriction on wide body aircraft to further pull number of visitors down

Some improvement in South Asian tourist arrivals pushed the overall arrivals by 6.34 per cent to 47, 397 in August – compared to the same month last year that stood at 44,571 – according to the figures released by Immigration Office at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
However, the arrivals from January to August – in the last eight months – has seen a 2.3 per cent drop to 368,386 compared to 377,043 of the same period last year, it revealed.
The load restriction of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is expected to impact the arrivals further in the coming months as the inefficient regulator has instead of monitoring and regulating the runway maintenance, restricted the foreign airlines to bring wide body aircraft making the land-locked country air-locked. The anti-graft body has, though, visited the Tribhuvan International Airport, it has also failed to punish the alleged corrupts in the runway maintenance helping air-lock the country.
The data compiled by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) also revealed that
South Asian arrivals registered positive growth of 10 per cent, in an aggregate. “Arrivals from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka increased by 83.14 per cent, 36.92 per cent and 59.64 per cent, respectively,” it said, adding that India –which constitutes the major market – however, posted a negative growth of 1.67 per cent.
Likewise, arrivals from Asia – except South Asia – posted positive growth of 21.92 per cent in an aggregate. “The visitor arrivals from China increased by 21.50 per cent compared to the same month last year, whereas arrivals from Japan, Singapore and Malaysia also increased by 34.54 per cent, 51.66 per cent and 73.89 per cent, respectively. “However, Thailand saw decline in arrivals of 8.53 per cent.”
The European sector has posted an overall negative  growth of 17.37 per cent, it said. “Arrivals from UK, Germany, France posted growth by 2.22 per cent,  10.38 per cent and 2.45 per cent, respectively, while arrivals from Spain, Italy and the Netherlands declined by 9.53 per cent, 50.56 per cent and 3.95 per cent, respectively compared to the same month last year.
But the Turkish Airlines flight – connecting Europe directly after over one-and-a-half decade – that started from yesterday might help increase the number of visitor arrivals from Europe in coming months.
Likewise, tourist arrivals from Australia, Canada and the USA increased by 39.23 per cent, 6.78 per cent and 16.05per cent, respectively. However, arrivals from New Zealand decreased by 3.64 per cent.
A total of 59,335 foreign tourists departed from the only international airport in August, whereas some 62,200 Nepalis arrived and 75,200 Nepalis departed from TIA in August.

Market share (August 2013)
South Asia – 32.8 per cent
Asia (Except SAARC) – 23.7 per cent
Europe – 23.1 per cent
Americas – 9.2 per cent
Oceania – 3.4 per cent
Others – 7.8 per cent
(Source: Immigration Office, TIA, NTB)

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