Income of NTB rising with increasing tourist intake
23rd Jan, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew
KATHMANDU, Jan 23: With the increase in the number of tourists, the income of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has also increased. The increase in the tourism service fees of international airlines flying in Nepal has also added to the income of the Tourism Board.
According to the Tourism Board, in 2017 around 870 million rupees was collected in tourism service charge whereas in 2016 only 560 million rupees was collected. As per Nepal Tourism Board, only 940,693 tourists visited Nepal and among them, more than 90% tourists visited Nepal by airways. International airlines have submitted their fees to the Board but some of the airlines are not willing to pay the service charge.
International airlines operating in Nepal collect tourism service fees at a rate of Rs. 1000 for tourists except for Nepalese and Indian citizens. Foreigners do not have to pay such fees when conducting a flight within internal flights.
The tourism service fees are set based on the changes in the number of air passengers. The airlines have to hand over the collected fees to the NTB each month, with the airlines being allowed a 3% commission.
However, relevant authorities are questioning the NTB’s transparency saying that the revenue has not been utilized properly. The service charge is the main source of income for the Board. The CEO of the Board, Deepak Raj Joshi, said that the revenue is used for Nepali tourism promotion.
NTB has also been collecting fees through Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS). According to the substitute director of the Board Rohini Khanal, in 2015, 171 million 384 thousand rupees was collected in TIMS fees. In 2016, Rs. 166 million 432 thousand and in 2017, 194 million 77 thousand was collected in TIMS fees. The tourism service charge and TIMS fees are the main sources of the Tourism Board’s yearly budget.
The Board has allocated 1 billion 372 million rupees for its 2018 budget. Its budget for 2017 was 1 billion 125 million rupees.