Quoting the research from ‘Economic Activities Study Report´ published by the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), numbers of beds in hotels have increased from 17.27 percent to 36,371 during the review period. In 2012/13, tourist standard hotels and lodges in the country had 31,014 beds. The number of hotels and lodges was 1,404 in 2011/12.
With the existing hotel rooms, the country can accommodate 13.2 million tourists annually.
The report is based on a study carried out by NRB´s Kathmandu-based head office and seven offices outside the Kathmandu Valley — Biratnagar, Janakpur, Birgunj, Pokhara, Siddharthanagar, Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi — in 47 districts.
“We have infrastructures to welcome huge number of tourists. By the end of 2017, around 2,400 beds will be added in star hotels alone,” Amar Man Shakya, 1st vice president of Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), said. “We need to focus more on marketing and promotion to bring more tourists.”
According to HAN officials, average hotel occupancy stands at 50 to 60 percent annually.
“If we failed to bring in more tourists, hotels will have to resort to price war to sustain,” added Shakya.
At the end of 2013/14, Kathmandu had 540 tourist standard hotels and lodges, up from 478 recorded in 2012/13. Under Kathmandu, NRB has studied hotels and lodges in Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavrepalanchowk, Dhading, Nuwakot, Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk, Rasuwa and Kathmandu districts.
Pokhara is second after Kathmandu in terms of number of hotels. According to the report, Pokhara has 513 hotels at present which is a rise of 20.63 percent compared to figures of 2012/13. Next in the list are Birgunj with 346 hotels (10,331 beds), Dhangadi with 203 hotels (3,242 beds), Biratnagar with 97 hotels (1,849 beds), Janakpur with 43 hotels (1,275 beds), Bhairahawa with 29 hotels (1,150 beds) and Dhangadi with 21 hotels (844 beds).
“There is a need to expand transportation, communication and banking services, establish quality hotels and restaurants, install electricity lines, provide weather updates, and establish tourist information centers in different parts of the country to promote Nepal in international market and increase tourist arrivals and their length of stay,” the report added.
It has also suggested to the stakeholders to devise promotional plans and programs in association with private sector to develop tourism as a reliable source for employment creation and foreign exchange generation.
source: KRITI BHUJU, Republica