Nepal | August 08, 2020

Hoteliers having hard time coping with fuel crisis; deplore government apathy

Pushpa Raj Acharya
Share Now:

Tourist enjoying the view of the Annapurna range from Pokhara. Phto: THT

Kathmandu, October 30

Lack of fuel has badly affected star hotels, including international hotel chains in the Capital, which in turn has disseminated negative image of the country’s tourism sector.

Even though hotels have been included among essential service providers, hoteliers allege they are not being favourably treated by the government. More recently, they have complained that government agencies have been apathetic towards their problems.

BK Shrestha, owner of Hotel Radisson and chairperson of Hotel Association Nepal the umbrella body of hotel operators in Nepal said majority of star hotels in the Valley are facing operational difficulties due to lack of fuel. Sixty-year-old Shrestha said it has become a daily routine for him, as HAN chair, to meet government authorities in a bid to solve the problems of hoteliers. However, he alleges the government has not taken their problems seriously.

“We’ve never had to face such a dire situation before,” he said.

A majority of restaurants have already closed due to lack of liquefied petroleum gas. Moreover, ineffective distribution of the limited fuel has hit the hotel industry hard.

“One cannot even comprehend the loss to the tourism sector should the international hotel chains and big hotels run out of fuel,” said Binayak Shah, general secretary of HAN.

According to him, hotels have already slashed the items on their menu due to dearth of cooking fuel.

Though most of the major hotels are located in the Capital, the problem has spilled over to other popular tourist destinations as well. Pokhara, for one, is also facing a similar problem, said Shah.

Hoteliers are equally, if not more, anxious about the inevitable increase in load-shedding hours during winter season. Shortage of diesel to run generators threatens not only to destroy the business of hotels, but has put the future of the entire tourism industry at stake.

It is being reported that hotels are failing to meet the standards of star hotels due to lack of diesel to run generators even five-star hotels are said to be having difficulties providing air-conditioning facilities to guests.

At a time when much needs to be done to help the country recover from the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of this year, the shortage of fuel has added to the challenges of reviving the already fragile tourism sector.

While international airlines continue to operate flights to Kathmandu despite the lack of refilling facility here, hoteliers warn that airline companies might decide to cancel their services if star hotels here fail to provide quality service.

Hoteliers have requested the government to manage a separate fuel station and dealer to distribute fuel to hotels. HAN has even offered to take the responsibility of facilitating distribution of fuel to hotels. However, the government continues to remain mum on the proposal as well.

Because of the earthquake and the current crisis, hotels have only 25 per cent occupancy even though this is the peak tourist season. Hotel operators say they are having problem even in accepting advance booking.

A version of this article appears in print on October 31, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Sevilla, Leverkusen cruise into Europa League quarter-finals

Five-times winners Sevilla made light work of AS Roma when first half goals from Sergio Reguilon and Youssef En-Nesyri gave them a 2-0 win over AS Roma and sent them into the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday. Sevilla's win, in a tie reduced to a single match played in Duisberg, Ge Read More...

Mexico, coronavirus outbreak;

Mexico's coronavirus death toll tops 50,000

MEXICO CITY: Mexico's health ministry on Thursday reported 6,590 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 819 fatalities, bringing the country's totals to 462,690 cases and 50,517 deaths. The virus is spreading quickly; just over two weeks ago, the health ministry reported 40,000 deaths. M Read More...

University of Washington forecasts 300,000 US COVID-19 deaths

WASHINGTON: Nearly 300,000 Americans could be dead from COVID-19 by Dec. 1, University of Washington health experts forecast on Thursday, although they said 70,000 lives could be saved if people were scrupulous about wearing masks. The prediction by the university's widely cited Institute for Read More...


Licence of child care home seized

Kathmandu, August 6 The National Child Rights Council, under the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, seized the licence of Kapan-based Care Child Orphanage following the rescue of 11 children sheltering there yesterday. Stating that the orphanage had violated the provisions in the Read More...

Covid-19 positive Province 2 home minister in home isolation

JANAKPURDHAM/KATHMANDU, AUGUST 6 Province 2 Internal Affairs and Law Minister Gyanendra Yadav has contracted COVID and has been staying in ‘isolation at his home as per the doctor’s advice’ since he tested positive for the virus’. Yadav, who is asymptomatic, has urged everyone who Read More...

Student enrolment remains uncertain

Kathmandu, August 6 Mainly private schools in the country have been running online classes. However, due to poor internet facility and frequent power cuts, online classes have not been effective in Nepal. Preparations to resume student enrolment since August 17 have been marred by increasin Read More...

Community spread feared in Siraha

Siraha, August 6 The spread of COVID-19 in the community has caused terror in Siraha of late. Just yesterday, four persons involved in different occupations tested positive for the virus here, according to District Health Office. Two of the four are health professionals of a polyclinic; one Read More...

VTM crunch hits Banke

Nepalgunj, August 6 The shortage of Viral Transport Medium used for collecting and transporting swab samples has hit the health offices in Banke. The local levels bought the VTMs and offered them to health offices as they did not have it. Mayor of Nepalgunj sub-metropolis Dhawal Shamsher Ra Read More...