NEPAL is ramping up promotions and travel trade engagement this year in the face of negative arrivals growth from India.
According to Nepal Tourism Board, the country recorded 103,568 arrivals by air from India between January and August 2013, an 18.1 per cent year-on-year decrease.
“India is our major source market and accounts for 33 per cent of our overall tourist arrivals. (In 2012) we witnessed 13 per cent growth from India. However, presently we are seeing a decline in numbers,” said Nandini Lahe Thapa, senior director of tourism products & resources development, Nepal Tourism Board.
To tackle this, the NTO will sell Nepal as an adventure, golf tourism and MICE destination, while continuing to promote less-travelled religious sites including Janaki Temple, Muktinath Temple, Damodar Kund lake, Jagatpur and Lumbini.
Nepal Tourism Board held an education session for over 100 Indian travel consultants in New Delhi last month and is partnering travel trade associations for wider awareness.
This includes the India Golf Tourism Association that is organising fam trips to Nepal for its members in February and March.
“Travelling to Nepal and staying two to three nights is still cheaper than going to Indian cities like Begaluru and Trivandrum,” said Rajan Sehgal, association president.
Nepal Tourism Board aims to welcome two million tourists by 2020, and will target South-east Asian markets as well.