Indians again top among foreigners visiting Nepal in 2017: Govt
Kathmandu, May 29 (PTI) Indians continued to account for the maximum number of tourists who last year visited Nepal, which recorded the arrival of nearly one million foreigners, almost 29 per cent up from 2016, according to government data.
A total of 9,40,217 foreign tourists arrived in Nepal last year and five countries -- India, China, United States, United Kingdom and Sri Lanka -- accounted for as much as 47 per cent of the visitors, the Economic Survey stated.
"Among these five nations, the number of tourists from India and China are increasing every year," the Himalayan Times newspaper reported.
As many as 7,29,550 foreign tourists had visited Nepal in 2016 against 5,54,747 in 2015. Indians had topped the list of tourists visiting the Himalayan nation in 2016.
In 2017, Indians accounted for 17.1 per cent of the total tourist arrival figures in Nepal, while Chinese and Americans accounted for 11.1 per cent and 8.44 per cent, respectively.
Visitors from the UK and Sri Lanka accounted for 5.4 per cent and 4.8 per cent, respectively, it said.
The recently-unveiled Economic Survey stated that 81 per cent of total foreign tourists arrived in Nepal in 2017 via air-routes, while the remaining 19 per cent (mainly Indian tourists) from land routes.
The survey said the average stay of tourists went down in 2017 to 12.6 days compared to an average of 13.4 days in 2016.
"But the per day expenditure of foreign tourists in Nepal increased to USD 54 in 2017 compared to per day spending of USD 53 in 2016," it said.
In 2016-17, the foreign currency earnings from tourism sector was recorded at 58.5 billion Nepalese rupee, while the country earned almost 43.5 billion Nepalese rupee in foreign currency from the sector in the first eight months of the ongoing fiscal year.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha and a UNESCO world heritage site, was the most visited tourist destination in Nepal in 2017, the survey stated.
"Altogether 1.5 million tourists (domestic and foreign) had visited Lumbini in 2017, which was an increase of 21 per cent compared to 2016. In 2016, 1.28 million tourists had visited the site," it added. PTI KIS AKJ KIS KIS
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