Tourists from Norway were the longest stayers in Nepal last year, spending an average of 25.5 days in the country for each visit.

According to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal received 3,280 Norwegian tourists in 2012, out of which 2,369 were first time visitors.

Their length of stay increased by 2.5 days from before. In 2011, visitors from Finland were the longest stayers in Nepal.

The number of Norwegian tourists were followed by those from Ireland, the US, Pakistan, Finland, UK and Belgium.

Travel agencies said that tourists from Scandanavian countries often stayed longer.

“They are fond of trekking and cultural activities,” said Hari Sarmah, chief executive officer of the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents.

According to data from the Tourism Ministry, visitors from Myanmar and Bhutan were the shortest stayers, with stay periods averaging at 2.2 days and 2.3 days respectively.

Other visitors such as those from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Thailand had average stay-periods of 4.6 days, 4.7 days, 5.4 days, 5.7 days and 6.9 days respectively.

Visitors from India, which is Nepal’s largest tourist market, spent 9.3 days on average in the country, compared to 8.0 days the year before. Nepal received 174,146 visitors from India last year, among whom 122,775 were first time visitors.

According to Sarmah, the length of stay by tourists from India was relatively short, as they find visiting the Himalayas more expensive compared to travelling to other destinations such as Thailand and Malaysia.

“Although they are good spenders and like travelling in groups, Nepal has not been able to develop tourism products to attract more of them,” Sarmah added.

Arrivals from China, Nepal’s second-largest source of visitors, have also increased significantly, but the average length of stay by visitors from the country has shortened, from 10.1 days in 2012 to 8.8 days this year.

In 2010, tourists from China were among the longest-staying visitors in Nepal, staying an average of 15.6 days. The country received 71,861 Chinese tourists last year, among whom 64,275 were first time visitors.

(c)2013 the Asia News Network (Hamburg, Germany). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

Tags: nepal, norway
Photo Credit: Tourists take part in an elephant safari in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Nomad Tales / Flickr