Hotels in remote areas witness brisk business

Kathmandu, December 5

The movement of people across the country owing to the upcoming second phase of provincial and parliamentary elections has driven up the hotel business, especially in the remote parts of the country.

As per hoteliers, different parties and election candidates have been holding election-related events like party discussions, promotional campaigns and seminars in hotels, thereby increasing their business.

“The country’s economy gathers momentum during every election when the flow of cash is high. Like other sectors, the upcoming elections have been having a positive impact on the country’s hotel industry,” said Binayak Shah, spokesperson for Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) — the umbrella organisation representing domestic tourist-standard hotels.

According to Shah, business conducted by small- and medium-sized hotels located in remote parts of the country is comparatively better as the flow of people in remote

areas has increased notably. “Such small and medium hotels are packed with different courtesy programmes and party events of political leaders,” he said, adding that elections are always a boon to the hotel industry.

However, HAN officials said that the flow of foreign tourists in the country has reduced notably in November owing to security concerns amid the upcoming elections. As per them, tourist-standard hotels in the country are recording 70 per cent average occupancy at present and a majority of rooms are occupied by domestic tourists.

“Though the government has expressed its commitment to assure security to foreign tourists, foreign nationals are understandably unwillingly to tour Nepal during the elections,” said Shah.

November is regarded as the main season in the hotel industry as the flow of tourists is encouraging during the period.

Following unwillingness of foreign tourists to visit Nepal during elections, it is likely that the country will once again fail to draw one million tourists in 2017. The government in 2011 had envisioned to draw at least one million foreign tourists in the country every year.

The country received 750,000 foreign tourists till October. Hoteliers have already said that the flow of foreign tourists was tepid in November. Moreover, hoteliers have said that foreign tourist flow is likely to be affected till mid-December until the vote counting is completed, making it difficult to meet the target of luring one million foreign tourists this year.