Chitwan hoteliers report facing hardships

  • Average hotel occupancy at merely 40pc this season

Kathmandu, April 6

Hoteliers based in Chitwan, a popular destination for wildlife tourism, have been facing hard times due to a slowdown in the number of tourists visiting the place. The slowdown has been attributed to the obstruction in traffic flow along the Narayangadh-Mugling due to road expansion works.

As the traffic condition in this road section is really bad, the number of tourists visiting Chitwan has significantly dropped this year. Traffic is blocked for at least four hours a day in this road section, which has been discouraging tourists to travel via road to Chitwan.

As per Suman Ghimire, president of Chitwan regional chapter of Hotel Association Nepal (HAN), only 120,000 tourists visited Chitwan in the first nine months of this fiscal as compared to 187,000 in the corresponding period of fiscal 2014-15. Hotels of Chitwan are running at average occupancy rate of 40 per cent this season (March to May), which is very low as compared to previous years.

The number of tourist standard hotels has been increasing in Chitwan in recent years. But, slowdown in tourist inflow has left entire tourism business of Chitwan in doldrums. There are 150 tourist standard hotels and 50 home-stay facilities in this popular wildlife tourism destination.

Owing to the hardships being faced by the tourism business in Chitwan, the regional chapter of HAN has urged domestic airline operators to adjust the airfare and start Pokhara to Bharatpur and Bharatpur to Pokhara flights to increase the tourist flow to Chitwan.