January 17: Hoteliers are working to bring the hospitality sector, most affected by the Covid-19, back on track.
Despite a marginal improvement in the hotel business due to domestic tourism, hoteliers have started formulating special packages and marketing strategies to bring tourists from Asian countries to Nepal. The stakeholders made such plans to bring back the hospitality sector, which has slowed down due to the non-arrival of foreign tourists.
According to the Department of Immigration, the number of tourists from India, China, Thailand, and Myanmar is high despite the effects of the Covid-19. In 2020, only a small number of 230,000 tourists visited Nepal. However, the number of tourists visiting Nepal in 2019 was 1.197 million.
Sajan Shakya, general secretary of the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), informed that the hotel entrepreneurs are preparing a marketing strategy to bring the hotel business back on track.
According to Shakya, necessary preparations have been made to promote tourism in China, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and other Asian countries, as hoteliers don't see the possibility of European and American tourists.
He informed that HAN made preparations to conduct marketing promotions with discount packages to such countries as many Buddhist tourists are coming to Nepal. Currently, the condition of the hotel is deplorable. The room occupancy rate of hotels in Kathmandu has dropped significantly as tourists have not come even though the hotels are open. Shakya added that the hotel operators are overwhelmed to manage the expenses even after opening the hotel.
Hoteliers informed that even though domestic tourists have encouraged business in other tourist destinations, it is not enough. Although the overall hospitality business, which is almost zero, has been observing a positive impact from domestic tourists, they complain that the hotel business in Kathmandu is disappointing.
The occupancy rate of hotels in Kathmandu, which is almost zero, has improved slightly for some time, rising to an average of 3 percent, HAN reported.