High Season? Low Season?
Chinese Tourists Pouring Into Nepal
By Shiva Bhusal
December and January are cold and dry months in Nepal. It doesn’t usually snow in any of the urban cities like Kathmandu or Chitwan, but it is freezing. This is also the time of year when electricity rationing is at its ultimate peak with long hours of load shedding.
“Despite all these factors, one shouldn’t consider this time of the year as an offseason,” says Dina Nath Amgai, managing director of Asian Adventure trips Pvt. Ltd. According to him, only few tourists prefer trekking during these months but still, a lot of them visit Nepal for other purposes like pleasure, pilgrimage and business.
Amgai argues that the flow of tourists, especially from China and Japan, is very high during these months. “Unlike westerners, Chinese people have short vacations. Though many of them prefer visiting Nepal during winter months, they do not stay here for long,” he says.
According to a statistics published by the Tourism Ministry, number of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal has almost doubled to 113,000 in 2013. Chinese tourists visit Nepal during all seasons, not just winter.
At the same time, Chinese tourists cannot be dubbed as “budget tourists” any more. According to the Ministry statistics, average expenditure of Chinese tourists is 100 dollars per day. Four years ago, it was only 50 dollars.
In 2013, 12.4 percent of total tourists visiting Nepal were Chinese. The percentage surpassed all other nations except India (23.2 percent).
Bishwesh Shrestha, executive director of C&K Nepal Travel and Tours Pvt. Ltd. also shared similar opinion. “Despite their short stay, Chinese visitors are one of the most paying guests in countries like Nepal,” says Shrestha. “Nepal has become the nearest and dearest destination for Chinese travellers.”
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