Kathmandu: Arrivals of Chinese tourists to Nepal overtook those from India during the first quarter of 2018 for the first time, the Department of Immigration (DoI) said here on Friday.
According to the DoI data, Nepal received a total of 36,384 Chinese tourists from January to March against the arrivals of 34,133 from India during the same period, reports Xinhua news agency.
India has long been the top source of tourist arrivals for Nepal. In 2017, Nepal received 104,664 tourists from China and 160,832 from India.
Nepal received 9,924 Chinese tourists in January followed by 14,287 in February and 12,173 in March.
On the other hand, arrivals from India in January stood at 12,152 in January, 7,570 in February and 14,411 in March.
During these three months, Nepal welcomed a total of 216,998 foreign visitors, according to the DoI data.
Sharad Pradhan, media consultant at the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), told Xinhua that China took the number one position in the first quarter due to inflow of a high number of Chinese travellers during the Chinese New Year.
"With increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal during this Spring festival in recent years, the winter season which used to be off-season in the past, has now emerged as important season for Nepal's tourism sector," he said.