Kathmandu :The arrival of tourists from China to Nepal has nearly doubled in the last three years, a government report reveals .
The report released by the Tourism Ministry said the number of Chinese tourists went up to 89,509 in 2013, up from 46,360 in 2011. In the year 2012, 71,861 Chinese visitors visited the Himalayan country.
The report attributed enhanced air connectivity between the two countries for the overwhelming increase of Chinese tourists to Nepal.
It also estimates that due to the geographic closeness, the growth in the flow of Chinese tourists will continue.
The spending by Chinese tourists also increased to an average of 100 U.S. dollars a day in 2013 from 50-60 dollars a day in 2011.
“China’s placing Nepal in the list of new leisure destinations and its proximity and Nepal’s low-budget tourism have lured Chinese tourists,” said the report.
Officials at Nepal’s Tourism Ministry said the increase in the arrival of Chinese tourists began with the government efforts to attract visitors to Nepal from the northern and southern neighboring counties since the Europeans and Americans were plagued by the latest wave of financial crisis.
In the past, Nepal used to depend on European markets. However, the trend has changed with the world now seeking Chinese travelers.
“Chinese visitors have been by far the fastest growing segment over the last three years. The overall tourist growth is satisfactory despite the protracted political transition,” Surendra Bir Malakar, former president of the Nepal Chambers of Commerce told Xinhua .
Local tourism entrepreneurs said there is a lot Nepal can do to attract more Chinese tourists.Source : Xinhua , July 6 2014