LETTERS: Homestay syndrome
Apropos of the news story “City-centric homestay troubling hotel industry: Hoteliers” (THT, March 30, Page 10), this does not auger well for the hotel fraternity. Come 2020 and the hoteliers will be an even more harassed lot when three dozen new hotels jump into the fray and a big chunk of the committed US$ 13 billion FDI find their way into new hotels.
As it is, the small time Chinese investors in restaurants and lodges around Thamel and other tourist attractions have already increased the migraine of the local traders. No wonder at least half a dozen smart four-star hotels, a couple of them in Durbar Marg, pulled down their shutters to go full rental. The Kathmandu hoteliers’ problems may not end with the construction of new international airports in every nook and corner of the country. Those will help the local migrant labourers to fly out of the country without having to come to the Kathmandu airport which served a whopping 3.51 million passengers in 2016. It is not so much as lack of air seats for the stagnant tourist arrivals. Government needs to go for better diagnosis to pinpoint the malaise dogging our tourism industry.
Whatever, the star hoteliers’ problems are sure to grow in the coming years with investment in home stays and hotels inversely proportionate to the tourist arrivals. Can we imagine what will happen to scores of home stays and ‘resorts’ in Bardia National Park when Nepali business moguls from India pour Rs. one billion as FDI in a luxury resort! Famed as one of the cheapest destinations of the world, a billion rupee hotel in Bardia might just prove to be a Titanic for the NRNs from India. Unless the money belongs to somebody else it would seem foolhardy to sink one billion in the Nepalese wilderness, no matter how pretty. They would perhaps make more money if they invested on a domestic airport close to Bardia National Park or better still invest that in New Delhi itself.
Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu
This has reference to the news story “PM seeks free market access for benefits of globalization” (THT, March 26, Page 1). Of course, there is no doubt that China is moving forward to the path of the economic super powerhouse. But, at the same time, the developing countries like Nepal have to do more for economic progress. Without trade diplomacy, no nation can move forward on the path of economic progress. Therefore, Nepal should pursue trade diplomacy when it comes to attracting foreign direct investment. FDI will surely create more investment- friendly environment provided that legal and operational issues are adequately addressed. Rightly, PM Dahal has clearly pointed out in the Boao forum that inclusion, not isolation, partnership, not protectionism is the right direction to end poverty in developing countries. FDI is a must to accelerate the growth of the national economy and to boost export.
Saroj Wagle, Bara