Nepal attracts record number of tourists: govt
Tuesday 04 January 2011
A record number of tourists flew to Nepal last year, with most of the growth coming from neighbouring India and China, according to official figures released Monday.
The Nepal Tourism Board said the arrival of 448,769 foreign visitors at the country's only international airport in 2010, 15 percent more than in 2009, showed tourism had recovered from the impact of a 10-year civil war.
The figure rises by about 50,000 when visitors travelling overland are included, but officials conceded it would be difficult to meet a government goal of attracting a million tourists in 2011.
"We are reasonably optimistic about 2011, but we will be hampered by the lack of direct flights from European countries," said tourism board spokesman Sarad Pradhan.
The government last year declared it would double the number of tourists coming to the Himalayan nation in 2011, dubbing it "Visit Nepal Year."
But the country continues to be dogged by political instability, and few believe the current caretaker government has done enough to achieve anything like that number.
In an editorial Monday, Republica, an English-language daily newspaper, said tourism could lift thousands of Nepalese out of poverty. The sector accounts for around seven percent of Nepal's gross domestic product.
But it said there was a "huge gap between our aspiration and our ability," citing a shortage of hotel rooms and a lack of capacity at the "archaic" international airport in the capital Kathmandu.
The number of Indian tourists travelling to Nepal more than doubled in 2010 to 111,512, while the number of Chinese visitors reached 37,576, a slight increase on 2009.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
£23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...