Booming Industry for Nepal, Tourism

Everest-Marathon-SherpaNepal’s travel and tourism sector directly generated 487,500 jobs last year representing 3.5 percent of the total employment in the country, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said. This figure is estimated to grow 4.0 percent to 506,500 in 2015, according to a report published by the WTTC entitled Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2015. However, the number of direct jobs created by the tourism industry is down from the 504,000 jobs created in 2013. Tourism supported jobs include employment by hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services and also the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists. By 2025, Nepal’s travel and tourism will account for 681,000 jobs directly, up 3 percent per annum over the next 10 years, according to the global report. In terms of absolute contribution to job creation by the travel and tourism sector, Nepal is ranked 38th among 184 countries.

Among South Asian countries, Nepal comes behind India (second place) and Bangladesh (23rd place) but ahead of Sri Lanka (42nd place) in job creation by the travel and tourism sector. The direct contribution of Nepal’s travel and tourism to the GDP in 2014 was Rs83.7 billion or 4.3 percent of the GDP. This is forecast to rise 5.4 percent to Rs88.2 billion in 2015. The direct contribution of travel and tourism to the GDP is expected to grow by 4.4 percent per annum to Rs135.7 billion by 2025, the report said. Money spent by foreign visitors in a country (or visitor exports) is a key component of the direct contribution of travel and tourism. In 2014, Nepal generated Rs53.7 billion in visitor exports. In 2015, this is expected to grow by 1.1 percent, and the country is expected to attract 997,000 international tourist arrivals. The London-based council said in its annual report that by 2025, international tourist arrivals in Nepal are forecast to total 1.62 million, generating expenditure of Rs97.3 billion. Nepal is far behind in capital investment in the travel and tourism sector compared to other countries.

The country is ranked 130th in terms of attracting investment in tourism. India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are ranked fourth, 68th and 73rd respectively in the South Asian region on this score. Nepal attracted capital investment of Rs15.7 billion in 2014. This is expected to swell 12 percent in 2015 and 5.2 percent annually over the next 10 years to Rs29.2 billion in 2025. Leisure travel spending (inbound and domestic) generated 85.5 percent or Rs111.9 billion of the direct travel and tourism GDP last year. Business travel spending accounted for 14.5 percent (Rs19.1 billion) and is expected to grow 10 percent in 2015 to Rs21 billion. Likewise, leisure travel spending is expected to grow 4.7 percent to Rs117 billion in 2015. Meanwhile, domestic travel spending generated 59.0 percent of the direct travel and tourism GDP in 2014 compared to 41 percent for foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts. Domestic travel spending is expected to grow 8.5 percent in 2015 to Rs83.8 billion, the report said.

Source: The Kathmandu Post