Hoteliers lament govt’s failure to address concerns

Kathmandu, April 10

Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) — the umbrella organisation representing tourist standard hotels in the country — has expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s failure to address the concerns of the hoteliers and the entire tourism industry.

Issuing a press statement today, hoteliers have said that the tourism industry, especially the hotel sector is the sector worst hit by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, they lamented the fact that the government is yet to introduce tourism sector-friendly relief packages.

“It is unfortunate that the relief packages unveiled by the government were not friendly to the tourism sector which is at a complete standstill. All hotels have been shut and they are fighting for their sustainability and existence,” reads the HAN press statement.

Highlighting that the tourism sector has a major contribution in Nepal’s economy, has provided employment to more than 1.1 million people and is paying taxes worth billions of rupees to the government every year, HAN urged the government not to overlook the plight of tourism entrepreneurs.

“It is the responsibility of the government to protect and preserve the hotel industry amid such crisis.

This is necessary to give momentum to the tourism industry and the entire economy,” as per HAN.

As hotels are unable to sustain their employees throughout this pandemic, HAN also requested the government to take the responsibility of its staffers.

Last month, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada had said that while tourism sector had been most affected due to the coronavirus pandemic, it would not have a significant impact on the economy ‘as the share of tourism sector in the gross domestic product stands at only three per cent’.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 11, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.