The Nepali government has inaugurated the ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ campaign amid much fanfare on January 1, 2020, with an aim to attract 2 million foreign tourists.
Despite promoting the campaign on global stage, Nepal has witnessed a 2% drop in tourist arrivals in the first month of the tourism year 2020.
According to the report by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), the total tourist arrivals decreased from 81,273 in January 2019 to 79,686 in January 2020, down by 2%. This number includes tourists who traveled to Nepal by air and land routes.
“Of the total tourists, 65,983 entered the country by air whereas remaining 13,703 by land routes,” NTB said.
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“The fall in the tourist arrivals in Nepal is primarily due to the decline in visitors from China”, said Ram Chandra Regmi, an information officer at the Department of Immigration.
Dhananjay Regmi, CEO at NTB, said that the coronavirus outbreak in China, the second-largest source market for Nepal, has directly impacted the tourism arrivals in Nepal.
Many Chinese tourists have already canceled their trips to Nepal amid massive countrywide lockdown in China.
Coronavirus outbreak has not only impeded the tourists from China, it has also hindered the tourists from India and Europe.
The tourists from countries outside China are cancelling their trips to Nepal as the country shares most of its border with coronavirus-hit China.
The NTB further added that the tourist arrivals drop could be even harsh in February.
Meanwhile, the Nepali Government is taking necessary initiations to fill the gap created by drop in tourist arrivals.
Nepal is continuously launching promotional events and products in countries including Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka and the Middle East, among others.
The government is planning to double the tourist arrivals from the countries outside China.
Earlier in 2019, Nepal has witnessed 1.17 million tourist arrivals via air and land routes.
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