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 Nepal News: Press Release from Nepal Tourism Board 03/04/02

International Visitors Keep Coming

A total of 16,743 tourist visited Nepal by air in February 2002. This consisted of 13,256 third country tourists and 3487 Indian tourists. This is however a sharp decline compared to the figures of February 2001. Third country arrival has gone down by 46.76% and Indian by 41.07%, representing a total decrease of 14071 tourists.

Of Nepal's main markets, the US (down 53.8 percent), UK (down 37.7 percent), Japan (down 59.4 percent) and Germany (44.8 percent) all recorded decreases for the month.

However, February marks the softening of decrease in arrivals from many countries like Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Taiwan. The only market showing promise at the moment seems to be China, which recorded growth of over 17.5 percent.

The decline in international visitors to Nepal was quite predictable with the upheaval of September 11, the consequent war in Afghanistan, issues with air capacity at the end of the year, building up of tension in the South Asian region with chances of war between India and Pakistan and unpleasant incidents in the western part of Nepal.

Despite the discouraging scenarios, the figures though aren't that worse. This however proves the fact that tourists consider Nepal as safe destination but imposition of emergency has created a false sense of apprehension in tourist before coming to Nepal. But once tourist are here they find it friendly and welcoming. A recent study conducted in German market by Private Sector Promotion Project/ GTZ and dwif Germany in collaboration with Nepal Tourism Board suggests that Nepal is a safe, exciting, varied, economical and friendly destination.

Australia down 42.5% to 451 visitors
India down 41.1% to 3,487 visitors
Netherlands down 49.1% to 493 visitors
Japan down 59.4% to 1501
UK down 37.7% to 1734
USA down 53.8% to 1436

Note this is a press release from the Nepal Tourism Board.

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