Travel Business News - Asia / Pacific.

New York (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News Asia / Pacific) Jan 13, 2013

Tourist arrivals to Nepal up 10 percent The total number of tourist arrivals to Nepal by air have increased by almost 10% to 598,204. The total tourist arrivals in 2012 were 598,204 that were 53,219 more visitors in same period (Jan-Dec) of 2011. In the context of Nepal, the year 2012 has concluded with positive notes both in terms of total visitor arrivals for the month of December and also for the whole year, according to Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). The figures released by Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) reveal that visitor arrivals in the month of December 2012, compared to the same month last year, have increased by 2.4% to 44,774. Arrivals from Asia (other than South Asia) segment have registered a positive growth of 15.1% in the year 2012. In December 2012, arrivals from this segment has recorded positive growth of 10.3% in aggregate with Malaysia (141.5%), Japan (11.8%), Singapore (12.1%), and Thailand ( 25.9%). However, China and South Korea have registered negative growth of 3.1% and 1.6%, respectively, compared to the same month last year. The South Asian segment has also registered a positive growth of 10.4% in the year 2012. The arrivals from Pakistan and Sri Lanka have grown by 4.1% and 20.6% respectively but arrivals from India and Bangladesh have declined by 10.4% and 19.7% respectively in December 2012. An overall positive growth of 3.5 % has been observed from the European markets in the month of December 2012 and 4.5% in the year 2012. Arrivals from the UK, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland, are up by 11.9%, 25.6% 14.3%, 23.7%, 10.3%, 14.2% and 114.3% respectively. However, Belgium, Spain and Russia have posted a negative growth of 22.8%, 27.7% and 32.5% respectively. Arrivals from the Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) and North America (Canada and USA) recorded overall positive growths in the year 2012 by 15.1% and 10.4% respectively. Tourist arrivals from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA have registered remarkable growth of 24.4%, 20.3%, 7.5% and 4.9% respectively in December 2012 compared to 2011. In 2012, total foreign tourist departures, Nepalis arrivals and Nepalis departures are at 688,566; 736,679 and 862,416 respectively. A total of 54,885 foreign tourists departed from TIA in December 2012. The number of Nepalis arrivals stood at 61,823 while 93,133 Nepalis departed from TIA in December 2012. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) international tourism has witnessed a moderate growth in 2012 with over one billion international tourist arrivals. One billionth mark is a new record for international tourism [ETH] a sector that accounts for one in every 12 jobs and 30% of the worldOs services exports. Further, the UNWTO asserts that the comparative strength of tourism in a period of continued economic uncertainty is confirmed by the positive trend on tourism earnings and expenditures. Globally, international tourism results have so far not been seriously affected by the economic volatility, with growth continuing above the average of 3.8% a year projected for the decade 2010-2020 according to UNWTOOs long-term forecast Tourism Towards 2030. The UNWTO estimates that for 2013 growth is expected to continue but at a more moderate rate in the range of 2% to 4%, adds the NTB. Jan 11, 2013

UK tourist killed at New Year party in Thailand A British holidaymaker was shot dead in Thailand hours after welcoming in the new year with friends at a beach party. Local media on the party island of Koh Phangan said Stephen Ashton, 22, was caught in the crossfire between two groups of Thai youths. Mr Ashton, form south London, was celebrating at Haad Rin, a stretch of beach famous for its Ofull moonO parties. Shortly after 3am an argument broke out between a group of locals at Zoom Bar, one of the many beachside party venues that line that stretch of shore. As one of the men walked away from the bar he reportedly pulled out a gun and began firing into the crowd, hitting Mr Ashton in the side of the chest. OHe was shot in the side while dancing on the beach,O a police spokesman told the AFP news agency. Reports suggested a Thai man was also injured. Mr Ashton was taken to hospital but could not be revived. A nurse told The Independent: ODoctors spent 40 minutes trying to resuscitate him but there was nothing they could do.O Dawn Mason, 48, a neighbour of Mr AshtonOs family, described him as a Overy normal, likeable young manO. His family moved to the upmarket area of Purley, south London, about three years ago, she said. OTheyOve always been very nice neighbours. I went to the house today and the family just seem in complete shock.O Mr AshtonOs mother, Diane, is flying back to the UK from a skiing trip after hearing of her sonOs death, Ms Mason said. Mr AshtonOs family said they were too distraught to speak tonight at their home. Meanwhile, friends left tributes to Mr Ashton on social networking sites. Aaron Kelly, writing on Mr AshtonOs Facebook profile, said: OHorrible news, be good up there mateO. The killing is likely to raise fresh concerns over the safety of tourists on Koh Phangan, an island once renowned for...

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