Nepal targets Chinese, Indian tourists in 2011


KATHMANDU – China and India will be the major markets for Nepal in the upcoming Nepal Tourism Year 2011 campaign, Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Nagendra Ghimire has said.

Speaking at the celebration of the 65th International Civil Aviation Day on Monday, Nagendra Ghimire said that tourist arrivals from these countries would make a huge difference in Nepal’s tourism, local media reported on Tuesday.

“We should tap these potential markets by increasing air connectivity,” he added. He hoped to bring about 8-10 percent of Indian outbound tourists to Nepal.

Tourist arrivals from China and India during November were up 68.4 percent and 16.1 percent respectively. This is the sixth consecutive month that Nepal has witnessed a growth in international tourist arrivals.

The growth in the number of Indian and Chinese arrivals has been a major contributing factor in the overall increase in inbound.

The government of Nepal has strategically segmented India and China as prime markets and has set a target to double arrivals from these countries during NTY 2011.

However, considering the inadequate air seat capacity to bring in the projected one million tourists during NTY 2011, the ministry plans to up the number of international airlines serving Nepal to 25, Ghimire said.

Nepal is short of 300,000 air seats. Ghimire added that local hotels also lacked capacity to accommodate the targeted number of visitors.

“We are planning to diversify the tourists for home-stay in different areas,” he said.