Nepal, a major destination for global travellers, has doubled its tourism service fee to Rs 1,000 from March 1, citing price rise in the international market and devaluation of local currency.
"Over the last few years, the price rise in the international market coupled with the devaluation of Nepalese currency and stiff competition among destinations, for their presence in the international tourism market, has made it difficult for Nepal Tourism Board to fare well in the international promotion," an NTB statement said.
"So, it has become inevitable for Nepal Tourism Board to increase TSF to meet the expectation of Nepalese tourism industry and to cope with the paradigm shift in the international tourism promotion and marketing," it said.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has revised the tourism service fee after a gap of nine years.
The Tourism Service Fee (TSF) has been revised from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 (excluding VAT) effective from March 1, the statement said.
The TSF will be levied on the outgoing foreign travellers departing from all airports in Nepal, the statement said.
However, it will be implemented only from Tribhuvan International Airport for the time being, according to officials.
Revenue generated from TSF will be utilised for promoting domestic as well as international tourism, Acting Chief Executive Officer, NTB, Subhash Niraula said.
"It would enable the Nepal Tourism Board to focus more on international promotion and domestic tourism development," Niraula said.
With a bigger budget, Nepal Tourism Board will now prepare and implement a five-year plan to penetrate the market that has been unexplored before, he said.
According to a Nepal Tourism Board report, a total of 12,639 Indian visitors had arrived in Nepal by air in July last year, 15.74 per cent less than the 15,000 Indians who had arrived in 2012.
The total number of foreign tourists visiting the country last year registered a negligible growth of 0.28 per cent, the report said.
A total of 38,560 foreign tourists visited Nepal in July last year by air compared to 38,453 visitors in the same month in 2012.