Tourist spending increasing, length of stay unchanged

17th Apr, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Apr 17: Tourists visiting Nepal are spending larger amounts, although the length of stay has not increased significantly. Nepal Tourism Board has reported that the daily average spending of a tourist is currently $65.

"Currently the daily average spending of a tourist is $65," said CEO of the Tourism Board, Deepak Raj Joshi, "the average was $47 when I started tenure at the NTB. This is a very big achievement."

Although the average spending of tourists have increased overall, the length of their stay has not increased. Joshi said that the Tourism Board is preparing to introduce a new package aimed at increasing the stay of tourists. The board is reportedly engaged in intensive digital promotion world-wide alongside the development of tourism infrastructure.

General Secretary of the Hotel Association of Nepal, Binayak Shah, said that foreign tourists are willing to spend larger amounts. "The rate of spending has increased, but the length of stay has not improved," he said, "We have been unable to retain foreign tourists for longer amounts of time due to a lack of sufficient infrastructure."

Shah says that although the private sector has been working very hard for tourism development, the work from the government level has been ineffective, due to which these issues have risen. He said that there are sufficient hotels for hosting the tourists, however, there is an urgent need to upgrade the roads connecting Nepal to India and China. He stressed that the government should focus on attracting tourists from the neighboring countries and creating the necessary environment to keep them for longer durations.

President of the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents, C.N. Pandey, said that in order to retain tourists for longer time, the government should identify new tourism destinations and develop the necessary infrastructure in those areas. "The government should only provide the necessary infrastructure, we will conduct the necessary promotion in the international market," he said.

Foreign tourists visiting Nepal stay for an average of 13 days, according to the Tourism Board.