Kathmandu: Nepal’s travel and tourism industry’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 3.6 percent as the economic activities in the sector generated 800 million U.S. dollars, a report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) revealed.
The global body representing the travel and tourism private sector stated that the contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the economy has been calculated based on income generated by industries such as hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation. But it also includes, for example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists.
The report titled The Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism March 2017′ released recently stated that the travel and tourism sector’s contribution to the GDP is expected to grow by 6.8 percent points in 2017.
The report has not mentioned anything about how tourism sector is reviving after deadly earthquake of 2015. But, the report has forecasted growth in tourist arrivals in 2017.
As per the report, the country is expected to attract 801,000 international tourist arrivals. Foreign tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 39.71 percent to 753,002 in 2016, boosted by robust visitor growth from India, China, the United States, Britain and Sri Lanka, according to the statistics of the Department of Immigration.
Amar Shahi, managing director of Raika Tours Private Limited, said there has been growth in visitors from China and India and other few countries but the number of visitors from European markets has been dismal. “Although the number of visitors has grown, their spending has remained lower,” he said.
According to Shahi, growing investment in hotels and the entry of international hotel chains could attract more tourists in the upcoming years. Meanwhile, WTTC report has also stated that travel and tourism sector created 427,000 jobs in 2016 which is expected to grow by 6 percent in 2017 to 452,500 (excluding commuter services).