Flow of Indian Tourists on the Rise
27th Dec, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew
KATHMANDU, Dec 27: The flow of Indian tourists is slowly rising in Nepal. While in recent years, the numbers were decreasing, 2017 is estimated to see the highest number of Indian tourists enter Nepal.
[caption id="attachment_11422" align="alignnone" width="871"] File Photo: Indian tourists[/caption]
The number of Indian tourists to enter Nepal in 2013 was 180,974, while in 2012 the number was 165,815. The numbers, which had been low for the past four years, has risen since the beginning of 2017 with 133,209 Indian tourists entering Nepal in the first 10 months. According to the Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Maheshwor Neupane, “In this current year, the chief focus of the Nepal Tourism Board’s promotional activities have been China and India.”
General Secretary of Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) and Managing Director of Airport Hotel, Binayak Shah, said “Since India has a culture of visiting places with families, Nepal should be a chief tourism destination for Indians, however this has not been the case.” Shah explains that Indian tourists prefer to visit Malaysia as air tickets in Nepal are expensive. He said that in order to keep Nepalese tourism alive, it is important to lower air ticket rates for tourists from India and China and to create direct flight connections with the two nations.
Chinese tourists, who have been coming to Nepal in larger numbers than Indians, have been in low numbers in 2017, with the number expected to be less than 100,000 by the end of the year. In these 10 months, 83,342 tourists have visited Nepal. Similar numbers of Chinese and Indian tourists had visited Nepal in 2015. CEO of Nepal Touriism Board, Dipak Raj Joshi, said that China and India are the main markets for tourism as the Nepalese government is focused on neighbouring countries. Since Chinese citizens form the largest number of tourists in the world, attracting them will prove a boon to Nepal’s economy. Joshi claims that a direct flight link from Nepal to China’s capital Beijing would double the number of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal.