September 15: The average stay of foreign tourists coming to Nepal is found to have increased although their numbers has decreased due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The 'Nepal Tourism Data 2020' recently released by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation shows that the average stay of tourists has increased somewhat compared to the previous years and crossed 15 days.
The average stay of tourists in the country in the previous three years was around 12 days. It was 12.7 days in 2019, 12.4 days in 2018 and 12.6 days in 2017. Before that the average tourist stay was 13.12 days and 13.16 days in 2011 and 2016 respectively.
With the duration of tourists' stay increasing, their spending has also increased. Per tourist spending has increased to US$ 65 as compared to the previous years. In previous years the average per tourist spending was US$ 45.
Compared to the previous years, the arrival of tourists has declined by almost 80 per cent in 2020 due to the pandemic. Only 230,085 tourists had visited Nepal in 2020 amid the pandemic compared to over 1.19 million visitors in 2019 and 1.17 million visitors in 2018.
Nepal’s foreign currency earnings from the tourism sector has witnessed a 71 per cent decrease as the sector is badly affected by the pandemic.
Four hundred and forty seven climbers from 153 teams had taken mountaineering permit in 2020, which is less by 92 per cent as compared to the previous year.
According to the tourism data, the number of countries with which bilateral air service agreement were made has reached 40 until 2020.
The number of Nepali airlines companies operating international flights is three while the number of international airliners operating flight to and from Nepal has reached 27.
The Tribhuvan International Airport is the only one international airport in the country that is currently operational.
As of 2020, there were 54 domestic airports and of them 37 were blacktopped. The number of airports in which flights can be operated in all seasons is 35. Twenty airline companies, including 10 helicopter companies are conducting domestic flights. The number of companies operating adventure and recreational flights has reached 80. -- RSS