China Southern Airlines to promote Nepal as attractive tourism destination

 

After three months of its operations to Nepal, China Southern Airlines (CSA) is now focusing at promoting Nepal as an attractive tourist destination among outbound Chinese travellers. “Although we are still a starter in the Nepali market, the initial three months have proved that we could market Nepal as an attractive destination among the Chinese tourists,” says Vincent Zhen, general manager of CSA, Nepal Office.

CSA, China’s biggest airlines in terms of fleet size, began its Nepal operations from the first week of February, connecting Kathmandu with Guangzhou, twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. “Over 1,100 Chinese passengers flew by China Southern on Guangzhou-Kathmandu route over past three months. The trend is encouraging, which is a clear testimony that there still lies a huge potential to be tapped,” Zhen enthusiastically adds.

Although Nepal and China are close neighbours geographically, Nepal’s rich cultural heritage and biodiversity, its majestic Himalayas and Nepali hospitality are still unknown among many Chinese, says Zhen, adding that Nepal has yet not been properly promoted in China. He points out that the promotion of Nepal in China, the fastest growing economy in the world, could significantly increase the inflow of Chinese tourists, benefiting both the tourism industry and the airlines.

“Keeping the growing trend in mind, CSA is ready to increase frequency to four flights a week or even daily,” he adds.

Zhen also disclosed that CSA has already decided to open its full-fledged office in Kathmandu to facilitate the Chinese tourists as well as Nepalis and expatriates flying abroad. “As CSA flies to over 600 destinations including 110 international destinations across the globe, we are confident to provide better connectivity for all types of passengers,” he adds. Based in China’s major trading and industrial hub — Guangzhou, the China Southern operates with more than 300 aircrafts to over 80 cities around the globe. It also enjoys the proximity of the affluent city of Macao, and Hong Kong SAR, where thousands of Nepalis work and study. CSA has convenient flight schedules, providing better connectivity for Australia, Europe, the US, and South East Asian countries as well as Gulf Countries, Zhen further claims adding that besides flights to all major cities in China, CSA could be the best alternative carrier for flying abroad with quite less transit time. “CSA’s Nepal operation is a symbol of good faith with which we seek to build up the strength of our foundation of cultural and commercial ties and further strengthen our relationship,” Zhen sums up looking forward to serve better.

China is not only attaining a fastest economic growth, it is also emerging as one of the major outbound tourist generators, as the total Chinese travellers crossed 35.42 million in 2006. Out of the huge number, Nepal only received 8,431 (6,531 via air) Chinese tou-rists. Contemplating the China’s GDP size of over $2.68 trillion and per capita income of $1,709, the Chinese tourist arrivals in Nepal is too small and insignificant.

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