NTB to analyse all tourism data

 

KATHMANDU: Lack of Tourism Satellite Accounting (TSA) system has hit the calculation of tourism industry’s real contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

In order to work out exact contribution of the tourism sector, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has designed a concept paper based on the preliminary report of TSA.

For the first time, NTB has started its research and preparation of tourism statistics. This is likely to help draw a clear picture of the tourism sector and its contribution.

The first of its own kind research can get the exact picture of tourism sector, he said.

Tourism Satellite Accounting system estimates the total economic and employment impact of tourism, taking into account the proportions of other industries that rely on travel and tourism in some way or the other.

“According to the government, the tourism sector directly or indirectly makes a contribution of around two to three per cent to the total GDP,” said Dhruba Narayan Shrestha, coordinator of tourism sector at FNCCI and member of NTY 2011 working committee.

“Government’s calculation is based on the dollar-income. This does not reflect the real contribution of the sector,” he said. The present calculation does not register the contribution of Indian tourists, who spend Indian currency (IC). The system only calculates the contribution on dollar income,” Shrestha added. According to Nepal Economic Update report published by the World Bank recently, service sector’s that have always remained unaffected of political instability contribution to GDP has risen to 52 per cent from 46 per cent a decade ago.

The sector grew by an average of 5.8 per cent between the financial year 2006-07 and 2008-09.

The growth is expected to slow down to 5.3 per cent in the current financial year.

According to the report, three factors are sustaining a relatively high service growth — tourism, telecommunications, and social services.

Supported by more international flights to Nepal and a higher number of Indian and Chinese tourists, tourism is projected to grow by 8.5 per cent from an average growth of 5.6 per cent during the last three years.

Tourism is not much affected by the current political instability in the country. Despite a global economic slowdown, Nepal has enjoyed a sustained growth in the international tourist arrivals, since June 2009.

Similarly, Nepal’s major tourist source markets — neighbouring India and China — have registered a double-digit growth which is encouraging for tourism entrepreneurs. “This underscores the importance of neighbouring and regional markets in increasing the number of visitor arrivals,” he added. “Nepal is offering quality service with variety of packages from economy to high-end packages.”Compared to the same period last year, tourist arrival during May has increased by six per cent to 26,634.

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