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Tourist Arrival Growth in 2012

Tourist arrivals to Nepal via air in the month of March recorded a healthy rise of 37.2 percent compared to arrival figures of the same period last year. According to Immigration Office at Tribhuvan International Airport, a total of 63,799 foreign tourists visited the country during the month. All regions posted positive growth in the third month of 2012. Arrivals from South Asian region recorded overall positive growth of 61.4 percent in March, 2012. India – the leading tourist generating market for Nepal -- registered the highest growth of 68.6 percent during the review period. Nepal welcomed 6,606 more Indian tourists during the month as compared to the same period in the past year. Arrivals from Sri Lanka (116.1 percent), Bangladesh (19.7 percent) and Pakistan (19.5 percent) also recorded healthy rise. Similarly, total arrivals from Asia (other than South Asia) also recorded positive growth of 21.5 percent in aggregate. China -- one of the fastest growing tourist markets for Nepal – posted growth of 47 percent, compared to the figures of March, 2011. Similarly, other Asian countries maintained the upward trend of previous months with strong contribution from Japan (12.3 percent), Malaysia (4.6 percent), South Korea (24.8 percent) and Thailand (27.7 percent). Arrivals from European market also grew by 42 percent, with strong contribution from the United Kingdom (27.5 percent), Spain (85.9 percent), Sweden (109.1 percent), Switzerland (13.9 percent), Norway (183.8 percent), Poland (103.7 percent) and Russia (53.6 percent). However, arrivals from France, Italy and the Netherlands have declined by 3.9 percent, 1.6 percent and 7.7 percent respectively. Tourist arrivals from Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada have also increased by 5.3 percent, 16.5 percent, 13.7 percent and 38.1 percent respectively during the review period. Total arrivals over the first three months of 2012 increased by 27 percent to 148,546 compared to figures of the same period in 2011.