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Number of Chinese visitors soaring up in Nepal

The number of Chinese visitor arrivals has been drastically soared up in Nepal since August, showed the figure released by Nepal's Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport.

This change has occurred meaningfully at the time when Nepal is launching a national campaign called "National Tourism Year-2011" to attract more and more tourists in a national and international level.

"In the month of August 2009, there was a robust growth of tourist arrival from China by 87 percent compared to the same month last year," according to Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

In August this year, Nepal witnessed 1,031 visitors from China which was only 550 in the same month of last year. The figure showed steady trend of visitor arrivals from China in the month of September and October too with the figures 2,518 and 2,870, respectively.

"The reason is so simple, why the Chinese visitor arrivals are increasing in Nepal since the past few months because they like Nepal," Aditya Baral, director and the spokesperson of NTB told Xinhua on Saturday.

"This is the result of our promotional effort and the natural diversity that Nepal possesses. Nepal, as a close friendly neighbor of China, is the birthplace of Lord Buddha apart from many marvelous cultural heritages," he added.

The most striking reason behind soaring up visitor arrivals is air-way passage backing up more and more flights connecting various cities of China with the capital Kathmandu, Baral said.

In the month of August this year, the Nepali government granted permission to China Easter Airlines (CEA) to start its air service to Nepal. CEA is operating its service in Nepal connecting Kunming-Kathmandu since September. CEA has direct flights from Kunming to Kathmandu and connecting flights to Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai in China and other destinations in South East Asia

Besides CEA, China Southern (Guangzhou-Kathmandu), Air China (Lhasa-Kathmandu) and Dragon Air (Kathmandu-Hong Kong) are also connecting the two countries. With increasing air-way passage there is now 70 times more Chinese tourists visiting Nepal as their destination.

Officials in NTB are hoping of more Chinese visitor arrivals in Nepal targeting the national tourism campaign of NTY-2011.

The Nepali government is planning to connect Lhasa and Kathmandu with roadway and railway before 2011 which could be more beneficial for Nepal since not only the Chinese tourist but also the tourist from third countries visiting Tibet can drop in Nepal as their second destination," Bara further said to Xinhua.

According to him, Nepal possesses as a transit gateway to Lhasa. More and more tourists visiting Lhasa go through Nepal which is also plus point for Nepal.