Nepal tourist numbers up

Nepal tourist numbers upKathmandu, Jan 2 - Nepal has welcomed more than 598,200 tourists in 2012, a 10 percent increase over 2011, making tourism one of the largest sources of revenue.

The figures released by the immigration office and compiled by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB)Tuesday showed that 53,219 more tourists visited the country in 2012 than in 2011.

"Without any substantial investment and despite government's failure to purchase new aircraft, the growth in 2012 is encouraging," tourism official Kashiraj Bhandari said.

Nepal, with eight out of 10 highest mountains in the world, has been one of the favourite destinations for tourists.

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal rose by 17.6 percent to 53,373 in 2012. In 2011, the figure was 45,400, Xinhua quoted the NTB as saying.

Indian tourists visiting Nepal rose to 164,680 in 2012 from 145,338 in 2011. Likewise, 41,908 American tourists visited Nepal in 2012. (IANS)

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