Nepal travel and tourism sees positive growth in 2012
There was positive growth across travel and tourism in 2012, driven by increased arrivals. Indian tourists remained on top, as they could easily enter Nepal by both air and land. Kathmandu remained the key tourist destination and the location of the only international airport, serving over 30 international and 18 domestic airlines in 2012. Domestic players dominated car rental, travel retail and travel accommodation. Trekking, hiking, rafting and mountaineering are among the most popular activities enjoyed by international tourists.
International brands make a move into Nepal
International chained brands like Sixt and Expedia entered the country during the review period. These international brands have made aggressive moves to capture offline and online sales, targeting European tourists in particular. Besides car rental, luxury hotels have also seen expansion by international chained brands, such as Sheraton Kathmandu Hotel, Shangri-La Kathmandu Hotel and Hotel Le Meridien Kathmandu. International players are expected to drive luxury tourism over the forecast period.
Online sales on the rise in travel and tourism
Online sales showed good growth over the review period. Online services were introduced in various categories, such as car rental, hotels, air and travel retail. Mobile tourism remained negligible, whereas social media played an important role, used to provide information between experienced travellers and new tourists.
Nepal government aggressively promotes investment in travel and tourism
The Nepalese government promoted Nepal Tourism Year 2011, which appeared to attract a lot of local and international investors to expand travel and tourism businesses in the country. Travel accommodation seems to be the priority of investors, particular investment in luxury hotels. Foreign investors are allowed to 100% invest in hotels and resorts in Nepal. The number of registered luxury hotels is the lowest compared to the number of other hotel types in the country. As a result, luxury hotels are a key focus for international investors.
Positive forecast period moment in Nepal travel and tourism
Travel and tourism in Nepal is expected to see positive growth over the forecast period. The number of arrivals is expected to increase, more hotels and other accommodation types will be established each year, and international companies will attempt to expand into car rental, despite the poor condition of the roads. Tourism in general tends to be moving at a faster pace than domestic infrastructure development. Therefore, developing the country’s infrastructure will be key to growth in travel and tourism in future. Chinese travellers are perceived as one of the key tourist groups that is not only interested in exploring new destinations in Nepal, but Chinese investors are also expected to make aggressive moves to open new hotels and travel retail businesses over the forecast period.
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