April 6: The number of Indian tourists arriving in Nepal has been growing. However, the Indian nationals are not here for tourism propose but rather for quarantine measures.
According to hoteliers, Indians come to stay in quarantine in hotels in Nepal.
Indians come to Kathmandu due to the quarantine requirements before flying to work in the Gulf and other countries. Indians have started to stay in hotel quarantines in Kathmandu as they do not have to repeat it in the work destination country.
According to Sajan Shakya, general secretary of the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), 500 to 600 Indian nationals have been coming to Kathmandu daily for the last few weeks to stay in hotel quarantine.
It has helped to keep the activities of hotels in Kathmandu running to some extent, he informed.
"Some Indians are coming to Kathmandu," said Shakya.
The arriving Indians are not here for tourism purposes but to work in the Gulf countries. They are here in Kathmandu to meet the 14-day quarantine to fly to other countries for work, he added.
Hotel occupancy in Nepal stood at 2 to 3 percent during the outbreak of coronavirus and subsequent lockdown, restrictions. However, it has slightly improved in the past 20 days with around 5 percent occupancy.
Around 15,000 tourists visited Nepal in March. Hoteliers informed that the current number of tourists is low as the hotels can serve 2.5 million tourists.
Even after the decline in number of coronavirus cases and the launch of Covid-19 vaccines, tourism professionals are skeptical of receiving sufficient tourists as new variants of the pathogen have been reported.
Even at HAN's 47th annual general meeting, hoteliers said there was no immediate prospect of revival of the tourism sector, given coronavirus outbreak and the uncertainty of tourist arrival.