Hotels along Annapurna route on verge of closure

Lamjung, September 13

With the operation of a motorable road from Lamjung’s Besisahar to Manang’s Chame, hotel business along the Annapurna trekking route is facing survival threats.

Before the road came into operation, tourists trekking on the route would stay in hotels at places such as Khudi, Bhulbhule, Ngadi and Bahundanda. With the operation of motorable road, tourists trekking on the route prefer taking a vehicle to reach Manang rather than staying in hotels on the way.

According to Nara Bahadur Gurung, owner of Hotel Waterfall at Syange of Marshyangdi Rural Municipality-4, number of tourists staying in hotels has decreased by around 70 per cent.

“Earlier, tourists trekking on the route would take five days to reach Manang’s Chame, but these days they reach their destination in a single day by taking a vehicle,” he said.

Paru Katila has been operating Hotel Superview at Bahundanda in Marshyangdi Rural Municipality-6, for the past two decades.

“My hotel used to be teeming with tourists just about six/seven years ago. But these days only two to three visitors turn up, which is very frustrating,” Katila said, adding, “I do not know if I should continue with my business.”

Another hotelier Ash Bahadur BK said he had made up his mind to close his hotel to avoid loss.

“How can we operate hotels when there are no visitors?” asked BK, who owns Hotel Waterfall View at Tangring in Marshyangdi Rural Municipality-4.

The motorable road has also posed threat to the 21-day Annapurna Trekking Circuit that starts from Lamjung’s Besisahar and goes through Manang, Mustang and Myagdi and ends in Pokhara.