Will tourist arrivals surge?
Sujit Mainali / June 29, 2018
A parliamentarian from the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Nawaraj Silwal speaking in parliament recently said Nepal’s tourism sector can benefit if Nepal and China are linked through railways. He said:
“In 2016, a total of 20.6 million foreign tourists visited China. If we are able to attract only 15 percent of them, then that will be three million tourists. If a tourist spent only US$ 1000 during his/her stay, then Nepal could earn US$ 3 billion.”
Altogether 138 million tourists visited mainland China in 2016.
Among them, 28.15 million were foreigners. The remaining were from Hong Kong (81.06 million), Macau (23.50) and Taiwan (5.73).
The statistics shows that 7.65 million more tourists visited China in 2016 than stated by Silwal.
Silwal also said that the tourists could spend US$ 1000 during their stay in Nepal.
Nepal’s average expenditure per visitor was US$ 695 in the fiscal year 2016/17. Ten years ago, this was US$ 535. (Nepal Tourism Statistics 2017, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, 2018, p 92)
Therefore, to make the tourists spend US$ 1000, Nepal should focus on prolonging their stay. Currently the average length of stay of foreign tourists is 12.6 days. (Nepal Tourism Statistics 2017, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, 2018, p 11)
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