Bhubaneswar: The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has chalked out an ambitious plan seeking to increase the number of Indian tourists visiting the Himalayan country by up to 30% within a year.

As part of it, the NTB has launched "Visit Nepal Year 2020" campaign to achieve two million arrivals from across the world, especially India, by 2020, a senior NTB official said on Saturday.

"The tourist flow from India by air mounted to 2,00,438 in 2018, registering a 25% growth over the number of visitors recorded in 2017," said Rohini Prasad Khanal, manager, Corporate Services Department of NTB.

Khanal, who was present with the NTB delegation for presentation and interaction with various stakeholders, said, that Indians remain one of the top contributors of international tourists to Nepal.

"Nepal received 1,173,072 international tourists excluding overland travellers in 2018, of which the top arrivals were from India, China, Sri Lanka, the US and the UK," he said.

The official said that by 2020, Nepal plans to operate two new international airports -Pokhara and Lumbini - besides taking steps to introduce around 100 unexplored destinations to the tourists.

The private hotel sector has planned to add 4000 rooms in the four and five-star categories in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara. A number of international hotel chains are expected to operate properties in Nepal in the near future, he said.