Thursday, June 27, 2019

Average tourist spending drops

Average tourist spending has dropped against the government’s plan to bring in quality foreign tourists with high-spending capacity.
“The average spending of foreigners dropped by 22.73 per cent in 2018,” according to the Nepal Tourism Statistics-2018 that revealed that the average per day spending of a foreign tourist in Nepal was $54 in 2017 but it came down by  $10 to $44 per day in 2018.
Nepal Tourism Statistics 2018 – prepared by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) – revealed that not only the number of high-spending tourists in Nepal is declining in recent years against the government’s plan to increase the inflow of such travelers but also the average length of the tourists has been decreasing. “The average length of stay of foreign tourists in Nepal also dropped to 12.4 days in 2018 from 12.6 days in 2017,” the statistics revealed.
The government’s three-year development plan (2016-2018) that aimed at increasing the length of stay of foreigners to 14 days by 2018 – which ranged from eight to 13.5 days in the past – has failed despite the increasing number of the tourists.
Nepal can offer products suitable for both backpackers and high-end tourists, according to president of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter Sunil Shakya. “The historical, cultural, natural and spiritual products on offer could cater to a variety of guests as per their need,” he said, adding that most of the trekkers and travellers are backpackers, who spend money on our roadside shops and local markets that could actually uplift the livelihood of people living in rural areas.
Currently, almost 65 per cent tourists travelling to Nepal are backpackers, he added. “Backpackers may be good for growth of numbers, but in terms of revenue, we have to develop good strategies to bring in high-end tourists.”
“Nepal needs to develop ample tourism packages beyond major cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara to increase the length of stay of tourists and their spending,” according to the vice chair of the Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) Binayak Shah.

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