The country’s hotel sector is rapidly growing to welcome more tourists in the country as per the government’s vision to bring two million tourists by 2020.
According to Binayak Shah, general secretary of the Hotel Association Nepal, there will be 52,000 rooms in tourist standard hotels of the country by 2020, which is enough to accommodate 1.6 million tourists. However, the government’s initiative to expedite the development of tourism infrastructure to bring the targeted number of tourists has been slow.
The capacity constraint of the country’s only international airport has been discouraging the international airlines to add flights to Nepal. On the other hand, reconstruction of cultural heritage sites and maintenance of roads, among others, is moving at a slow pace, which are discouraging factors for the growth of the tourism sector.
The country’s tourism sector is expected to rebound from this year as tourist arrivals are expected to hit one million, so the government needs to work seriously to develop quality infrastructure to lure more tourists, said Shah, adding, “There is a need of equal effort from the government and private sector to harness the growth potential of the tourism industry.”
According to travel and tour operators, since there has been a tremendous rise in the number of outbound travellers in neighbouring India and China, the country can bring tourists in all seasons. Earlier, when the country was dependent on American and European tourists, only the spring and autumn seasons were considered as tourist season and the remaining period of the year was considered a lean season for the tourism industry.