KATHMANDU, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Arrivals of Chinese tourists to Nepal continued to grow as the Himalayan country welcomed over 500,000 tourists as of first half of 2018, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) said here on Wednesday.
Nepal welcomed a total of 75,745 Chinese tourists from January to June, up 35.35 percent compared to the same period in 2017.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal during the first half of 2017 stood at 55,960.
Arrivals from Czech Republic witnessed second highest growth rate of 30.4 percent, standing at 1,354.
During the first half of this year, Nepal welcomed a total of 520,014 foreign visitors, up 13 percent, according to NTB data.
During the six months, India contributed the largest number of visitors with 96,372, followed by China. The two neighbors contributed over 30 percent of total tourist arrivals to Nepal, according to NTB.
"We saw heavy flow of Chinese tourists from January to March this year while arrivals of Indian tourists surged past all from April to June," Deepak Raj Joshi, chief executive officer of NTB told Xinhua on Wednesday.
"We will see the season of European tourists from October to December. But China and India continue to lead in numbers."
According to Joshi, they have targeted to see arrivals of 1.2 million foreign tourists in whole year in 2018, crossing the 1 million mark for the first time.
The Himalayan country aims to welcome 2 million international visitors in planned Visit Nepal Year-2020 as per the revised target.