KATHMANDU, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Nepal's tourism sector witnessed phenomenon growth in international tourist arrivals in 2018 as the Himalayan country received over 1.1 million tourists, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) said on Tuesday.
It was the first time that Nepal saw more than 1 million tourists in a year in its history. The number of foreign visitors crossed the 1-million mark during the first 11 months of 2018, reaching 1,173,072 at the end of December, the NTB, the main tourism promotion body of Nepal, said in a press statement.
Total tourist arrivals grew by 24.77 percent in 2018 from 940,218 in 2017, according to NTB.
Visitors from China and India contributed the largest number of tourists last year, taking up over 30 percent of the total.
According to NTB, Nepal received 200,438 Indian tourists, up by 25.1 percent from 2017. Indian visitors occupied 17.09 percent of total foreign visitors.
China contributed 153,602 tourists, a rise of 46.8 percent compared to 2017. The share of Chinese visitors in total foreign tourists stood at 13.09 percent in 2018, according to NTB.
The United States came third by sending 91,785 tourists followed by Sri Lanka with 70,610 and Britain with 63,086 arrivals.
Nepali officials said the remarkable growth in foreign visitors came at a time when Nepal is working on "Visit Nepal 2020" campaign.
"This has prepared astound and solid platform to achieve the target of Visit Nepal Year 2020," the NTB press statement quoted Nepali Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari as saying. Nepal aims to attract 2 million foreign tourists in the year 2020 under the Visit Nepal Year campaign.