Kathmandu, Jan. 24 -- Tourist arrivals to Nepal slowed in 2019 after three years of solid double-digit growth, raising concerns over the country's ability to meet Visit Nepal 2020's target of 2 million arrivals.

Foreign tourist arrivals grew by a marginal 2 percent to 1.19 million last year, according to statistics released by the Department of Immigration. Among them, 995,884 arrived by air and 201,307 through different land routes, according to the department.

This means there were only 24,119 more visitors than the preceding year, which puts the country a long way off from reaching the 2 million target for 2020. Nepal will have to achieve a growth rate of nearly 70 percent in order to reach that figure.

Tourism entrepreneurs have la...