Kathmandu – The tourism sector of Nepal enjoyed phenomenal growth in international tourist arrivals to Nepal in 2018. The consistent and upward momentum continued throughout the year and the annual arrival figures have reached well above the one million marks. According to the Immigration Department (and its offices) 969,287, international visitors came by air and 203,785 came overland. In aggregate, a total of 1,173,072 visitors visited Nepal in 2018, a cumulative increase of 24.77% over the same period in 2017.
Tourist arrivals from India in 2018 increased by 25.1% in comparison to the figures of 2017 and reached 200,438. Similarly, the arrivals from Sri Lanka have increased by 55.7% in comparison the last year. The overall arrivals from SAARC countries registered a sturdy growth of 26.4 % over the same period last year with 301,963 total tourist arrivals.
Likewise, 153,602 Chinese tourists visited Nepal in 2018, which is 46.8% more than the arrivals in 2017. Similarly, the visitors from Thailand, South Korea, and Japan have also increased significantly by 36%, 8.3%, and 8.9% respectively in comparison to the figures for 2017.
The European arrivals have also surged with healthy growths from the key markets. Arrivals from the United Kingdom, Germany, and France were 63,086, 36,833 and 31,653 respectively with 15.6, 23.1 and 21.1% growth rates. The total European arrivals in 2018 reached 243,284 with regional aggregated growth of 23.3%
The total number of US visitors to Nepal in 2018 was 91,785, an increase of 16% over the figures for last year. Likewise, the number of Australians visitors to Nepal in 2018 was 38,408, which is 15.1% more than in 2017.
“The remarkable growth in the eve of Visit Nepal Year 2020 has buoyed the spirit of travel trade sector. The last two months of 2018 have alone recorded 47% increase in tourist arrivals as compared to the same months in 2017. This has prepared a sound and solid platform to achieve the target of Visit Nepal Year 2020. The joint promotional and marketing efforts of public and private institutions have helped the tourism industry of Nepal achieve this remarkable figure and we will continue our efforts in increasing the numbers of quality tourist as well. We appreciate the laudable effort and contribution from the wide range of tourism stakeholders including private sector travel trade, their associations, and the individuals”, said Mr. Rabindra Adhikari, the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of Nepal Tourism Board remarked that the consecutive growths of the last three years have instilled high confidence in the tourism stakeholders. This unprecedented growth in the international visitor arrivals is possible only because of the synergy in our efforts and the spirit of partnership that we cherish since the very beginning. “Working closely with the private sector and media is the success mantra to take our tourism to a new height” he added.