Tourists making repeat visits to Nepal in 2009 made up almost half of the total arrivals giving credence to the travel trade’s advertising slogan “Naturally Nepal — Once Is Not Enough”.
According to the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), among the 509,956 tourists who visited Nepal last year, 158,153 were making their second visit, 7,858 were here for the third time, 7,426 for the fourth and 18,256 for the fifth or more times. Tourists visiting the country for the first time numbered 318,263.
Although past records are not available, NTB officials and travel trade entrepreneurs said that the number of tourists making repeat visits had gone up. “This shows that tourists want to come to Nepal again and again, but negative publicity has forced them to think twice about their travel plans,” they said.
Aditya Baral, senior director and spokesperson of the NTB, said it was encouraging that repeat visits to Nepal were increasing.
“Repeat visits make the tourism sector sustainable in any country,” he said. Repeat
visitors usually spend less according to international trends, but that is not the case in Nepal, he added. Indian sent the highest number of first-time and repeat visitors to Nepal.
Among the 93,884 travellers from India, 54,120 were here for the first time while the rest were repeat visitors.
Cultural ties, pilgrimage options and better air connectivity are the major reasons behind the large number of repeat visitors from India, Baral said. The US, the UK, France, China and Spain are among the other countries sending repeat visitors to Nepal after India.
Abhinav Rana, General Manager of the Radisson Hotel, said that the hotel had more repeat corporate clients in 2009 compared to the previous year.
Despite political instability and weak performance of the national flag carrier, the number of repeat visitors has swelled, said Ram Kazi Koney, managing director of Gandaki Tours & Travels and past president of the Nepal Association of Travel and Tour Agents (NATTA).
He added that it was a good indication that the country’s tourism sector could flourish instantly if the political situation becomes stable.
Of the total arrivals in 2009, air travellers numbered 379,322 while 130,634 came overland.
|Number of visits 2009|
|First time visitors||Repeated Visitors|
|Country||First time visitors||Repeated Visitors|