September 14: Pokhara’s famed hotel, Fulbari Resort, has been shut down for an indefinite period due to the confrontation between the workers and the management committee. The five-star hotel came into operation about two decades ago with an investment of Rs 3 billion.
The workers and the hotel management had held talks time and again to resolve the issue related to the workers’ payment but to no avail. Finally, the workers decided to put off their strike and leave the hotel after the latter agreed to pay all the outstanding dues including those during the standoff period, informed Nabaraj Giri, vice president of the Fulbari chapter of All Nepal Hotel and Restaurant Workers Association.
After reaching the agreement with the workers, the management committee of the hotel decided to close the hotel for an indefinite period.
As per the understanding reached between the two sides, the hotel will be providing 40 percent of the dues right away and the remaining 60 percent after two months.
Besides the monthly salary, the workers will get all the benefits including social security fund and provident fund.
With the closure of the resort that had played an important role in tourism, 117 staff of the hotel have now become unemployed. According to Giri, all of the workers have left and the management itself is looking after the hotel.
Western Regional Hotel Association President Bikal Tulachan said that the closure of a hotel which has been synonymous to Pokhara’s tourism history would have negative impact on the overall tourism industry.
“Big and small hotel entrepreneurs have been worried after the incident. They have started thinking whether their investment is safe or not,” said Tulachan.
“It is unfortunate that the state became a mute spectator to the collapse of a sole enterprise, which had been contributing a lot to the state coffers,” he added.
The resort said it sent off its staff after it was unable to fulfill all the demands of the workers since it had remained shut for a long period.
The resort is spread across 209 ropanis of land. The resort, which came into operation in 1998, has 165 rooms.