KATHMANDU, Jan. 9 -- India, China, US, Sri Lanka top contributors

Tourist arrivals hit a record 1.17 million in 2018 -- a growth of 24.77 percent compared to 2017.

According to data compiled by Department of Immigration (DoI) and released by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), biggest growth came from Sri Lanka. A total of 70,610 Sri Lankan tourists visited Nepal in 2018 which is a growth of 55.7 percent compared to arrival figures of 2017.

Sri Lanka contributed 6.02 percent of total foreign tourist arrivals in Nepal in 2018, shows the data released by NTB.

Tourist arrivals from Sri Lanka -- a Buddhist country -- are growing steadily in recent years. Most of them come to visit Lumbini -- the birthplace of Buddha. This healthy growth in arrival...