Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 15:

Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) has condemned the attack on Fishtail Lodge, Pokhara by the Maoists on Friday evening. “Despite repeated commitments on protection and promotion of tourism as a national industry by the Maoists and the government, the attack at the Fishtail Lodge will have an irreparable loss to the industry’s image,” HAN said in a statement issued after an emergency meeting today.

Referring to frequent bandhs, strikes and blockades that have already pushed the country into a ditch, HAN stated that the attack would further worsen the situation of the tourism industry. Tourism plays a key role in Nepali economy, while the hotel industry is one of the major components having over Rs 50 billion investment. A total of 200 hotels in the country are members of HAN and have been providing employment to thousands. According to the World Tourism Organisation, a single tourist provides employment to nine persons in developing and underdeveloped countries, whereas it also helps other dependents. “Such a deplorable attack will not only take away the bread and butter of thousands of employees, but also have a long-term negative impact on the industry,” HAN said.