KATHAMDNU: Nepal’s travel and tourism industry contributed Rs 195 billion into the country’s economy and supported more than 1.02 million jobs directly and indirectly in 2017, according to a report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The report said that 497,500 jobs were generated directly out of the total jobs supported by the industry last year. The Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2018 report said the industry was expected to create more than 1.32 million jobs directly and indirectly by 2028.
Direct employment is expected to rise by 2.1 percent annually to 638,000 jobs in 2028. Nepal is ranked 110th in terms of the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the GDP among the 185 countries surveyed. Likewise, the country is ranked 34th in terms of direct contribution to employment.
According to the report, the direct contribution of tourism to the GDP was Rs99.8 billion in 2017, which is 4 percent of the total GDP. This is forecast to rise by 4.9 percent in 2018 and then by 3.8 percent annually to Rs152.4 billion in 2028. The total contribution of the travel and tourism industry to the GDP was Rs195 billion, 7.8 percent of the GDP in 2017. This is projected to rise by 3.9 percent annually to Rs299.5 billion, or 8.2 percent of the GDP, in 2028.
This primarily reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels, travel agencies, airlines and other passenger transportation services, excluding commuter services. It also includes, for example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists.
The country received Rs72.5 billion in foreign exchange earnings from tourists last year. More than 940,000 tourists visited Nepal in 2017, up 24.86 percent from 2016.
The WTTC report said that the country was expected to attract 1.04 million international tourists in 2018. By 2028, international tourist arrivals are forecast to total 1.67 million individuals, generating expenditure of Rs127.1 billion, the report said.
The London-based council said that travel and tourism investment in Nepal last year was Rs17.3 billion, 2.3 percent of the total investment.
According to the report, leisure travel spending (foreign and domestic) generated 85.4 percent of the direct travel and tourism GDP in 2017, or Rs144.1 billion compared with 14.6 percent for business travel spending of Rs24.6 billion.
Business travel spending is expected to grow by 8.1 percent in 2018 to Rs26.6 billion, and then by 4.5 percent annually to Rs41.2 billion in 2028. Leisure travel spending is expected to grow by 4.2 percent to Rs150.1 billion in 2018, and then rise by 4.2 percent annually to Rs226.5 billion in 2028.
The report said that domestic travel spending generated 57 percent of the direct travel and tourism GDP in 2017 compared with 43 percent of foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts.