KATHMANDU, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Tourist arrivals in Nepal continued its upward trend, increasing by 9.6 percent in May year on year, according to statistics released by Department of Immigration on Wednesday.
A total of 68,825 foreign tourists visited Nepal in May. Tourist arrival from January to May this year rose by 12.5 percent year on year.
Similarly, the overall arrivals from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries have registered a positive growth of 2.2 percent over the same month last year. Arrivals from Asia, other than SAARC, have also recorded a positive growth of 14.2 percent, according to the data.
Meanwhile, tourist arrivals from China have continued to boom, up by 25.2 percent in May as compared to same month last year. China is the largest tourism source market for Nepal.
In 2017, Nepal welcomed 940,218 foreign tourists in total, mostly from neighboring India and China, followed by the United States, Canada, Australia and European countries, among others.
Amid the growing number of tourists, the Himalayan country is set to organize the year 2020 as Visit Nepal Year where it aims to welcome 2 million foreign tourists.
As the tourism sector is gradually recovering from the deadly earthquake in 2015, Nepal government has expected that the Visit Nepal Year would be helpful to boost the country's tourism sector.