Tourist arrivals in December decrease
No wonder the tourist arrivals by air in the last month of the year 2013 decreased due to travel advisory by the major markets on their own projection of unrest during and after the second Constituent Assembly (CA) election on November 19.
Immigration Office at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) revealed that visitor arrivals in December 2013 by air have decreased by 4.9 per cent to 42,601 compared to the same month last year, when some 2,173 more visitors to a total of 44,774 have entered Nepal by air.
The European, American and Chinese market that saw negative trend has hit the total arrivals, though the South Asian market has shown positive growth of 1.6 per cent with a total of 13,521 international visitors, who visited Nepal in December compared to the total arrival figures 13,302 in December 2012.
Bangladesh by 40.3 per cent and Sri Lanka by 49.4 per cent compared to the figures of 2012 of the same month has contributed to the SAARC positive arrivals growth. "The negative growth has been recorded in Indian market by one per cent and Pakistan by 67.2 per cent in compared to December, 2012," the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) that compiles the data and publishes revealed.
Likewise, Asia segment – other than SAARC region – has also shown a negative growth by 3.1 per cent in total, though Malaysia (up by 10 per cent), Chinese Taipei (up by 3.2 per cent) and Thailand (up by 3.3 per cent) with a significant decrease on Chinese arrivals down by 9.3 per cent compared to the figures of last December.
European segment has posted weaker arrival figures and have registered overall negative growth by 8.7 per cent as arrivals from Belgium, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and Sweden, have posted positive growths, whereas arrivals from Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherland and the UK have shown negative growths. However, the Oceania and America region have witnessed a negative growth of 16.3 per cent and 6.1 per cent, respectively.
Nepal had observed a sustained growth in international tourist arrivals since June 2009 but suffered a decline in the second half of 2013. Experts suggest that the decrease in arrivals in November might also be due to the inconsistent air fare to and from Nepal to major gateways. The decline also reflects the volatile nature of international tourist movement which is easily affected by factors like cost of traveling, travel season and many other internal and external issues.