Print Edition - 2015-03-22 | MONEY
Pata Nepal targets 215k Chinese tourists
Mar 21, 2015-
The Pacific Asia Travel Association’s (Pata) Nepal Chapter, in association
with other private sector players, has adopted an ambitious target of attracting 215,000 Chinese tourists in Nepal in 2015.
China has already become the second largest source market for Nepal’s tourism after India. While the overall tourist arrivals by air dropped in 2014, arrivals from China soared 17.86 percent to 71,107.
Pata President Suman Pandey said a massive promotional campaign would be launched in various Chinese cities. “The private sector is ready and we expect facilitation from the government to meet the target,” he said, addressing the 39th annual general meeting of Pata on Friday.
The target is achievable if the increased flight frequency from China to Nepal is considered, Pandey said, adding due to poor air connectivity in the past years, Nepal had not been able to attract a significant number of Chinese visitors.
Currently, three Chinese airlines—Air China, China Eastern and China Southern—operate 35 weekly scheduled flights to Nepal. Two more—Chengdu-based Sichuan Airlines and
Nepal-based Himalaya Airlines—plan to launch the services soon.
Sichuan plans to connect the Kathmandu airport by early April, while Himalaya will connect Lhasa soon. Nepal Airlines also plans to connect China. With this, the number of Nepal-China flights is likely to jump to 50 per week.
Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat said the increased Chinese movement to Nepal suggests the northern neighbour would soon surpass India as the top source market. “We already have 125,000 Chinese tourists and the number is growing at a faster rate.”
Published: 22-03-2015 08:36