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Nepal’s tourism growth slows down in 2012 amidst political instability

Excerpt from MyRepublica

Jan 04, 2013 3:33 am

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Nepal has historically overplayed its hand in low-end tourism, and now it has an image problem, besides its own internal political issues. It only has to look at neighboring Bhutan on how to build responsible, higher end tourism.

— Rafat Ali

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Tourist arrivals to Nepal via air posted slower growth of 9.8 percent in 2012, compared to arrivals figures of 2011. Number of tourists had increased by 21.4 percent in 2011 which was celebrated as Nepal Tourism Year (NTY).

According to statistics of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), a total of 598,204 foreign tourists entered the country via aerial route in 2012.┬áTourism entrepreneurs, who were hoping to achieve the target of one million visitors…are disappointed with the slow growth. They pointed out lack of effective publicity campaigns and political instability as the major factors affecting tourist arrivals.

The South Asia inbound market…disappointed this year with the growth rate limited at 10 percent. The number of Chinese tourists posted the highest growth rate of 17.6 percent during the year.

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