The Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) — the umbrella body representing tourist standard hotels in the country — said that the average occupancy of tourist standard hotels in the country during Dashain this year was recorded at 60 per cent compared to more than 70 per cent in the previous Dashain.
“Except a few, almost every tourist standard hotel in the country witnessed occupancy of less than 60 per cent during Dashain. This is basically because star hotels, especially in Kathmandu Valley, slashed their room rates for customer targeting the festive season,” said one hotelier seeking anonymity.
However, HAN President Amar Man Shakya has cited numerous reasons behind tepid hotel occupancy of tourist standard hotels of late. “The drop in room rates of big hotels is only one of the many causes behind falling hotel business. In fact, we have not been able to properly develop and promote tourist destinations in Nepal and the condition of the infrastructure in the country is quite pathetic,” he said.
As per Shakya, hotel business in the country is bound to fall continuously unless infrastructural bottleneck is addressed.
Shakya further added that poor connectivity (via both land and air) and increasing pollution in major cities of the country have discouraged potential tourists from visiting Nepal.
HAN officials also said that the increasing number of hotels in core city areas has reduced the occupancy in majority of hotels. “While the number of hotels and rooms is increasing, the flow of tourists is limited,” said Shakya.
At the same time, star hotels in the Valley recorded good business during Dashain. Among others, Hotel Annapurna saw 80 per cent occupancy during Dashain this year, which Shibani Simha, the marketing consultant of the hotel, said was ‘encouraging’.
She also claimed that Hotel Annapurna did not reduce the room rates for customers targeting the Dashain festival.