Nepal tourism sector continues to record significant growth


Kathmandu - Nepal's tourism industry continued to record significant growth for the eighth consecutive month propelled by strong European arrivals, state officials said Friday.

Nepal Tourism Board said tourist arrivals via air grew by 25 per cent in July, raising the total number of visitors arriving through Nepal's only international airport in Kathmandu to 193,211 since the beginning of the year.

The figure does not include tourists arriving overland from India and Tibet and is 35 per cent more than the corresponding period in 2006.

'The European market as a whole has shown a healthy growth of 45 percent in July with encouraging figures from top tourist-generating countries,' the NTB said.

'The UK market, with the largest share of the total European arrivals, increased by 30.8 per cent while arrivals from Germany and France grew by 33.4 percent 65.7% per cent respectively,' NTB said.

The board said some regional and emerging markets such as Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand also brought higher traffic.

NTB has already projected the total visitors for 2007 could cross half a million mark mainly due to the return of peace to much of the Himalayan nation.

The tourism industry is one of Nepal's biggest foreign-exchange earners, bringing in millions of dollars to the impoverished country and providing employment to hundreds of thousands of people.

However, it suffered considerably during the Maoist insurgency scaring off travelers planning to visit Nepal.

As a result, hundreds of small hotels were forced to shut down and thousands of people lost their jobs.

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