Om Adhyay Retreat, a newly opened and the only resort at Tistung, Makwanpur provides an amazing way to spend time with friends and family. It is a wonderful place for people who need a break from their hectic schedule. One can escape the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu Valley via a two-hour drive.
Arjun Singh Thakuri, the owner and promoter of Om Adhyay Retreat, shares with Prasuma Rawal of Republica the scope of hospitality industry and tourism in Nepal, startup challenges and benefits of this business.
How is Tistung different from other location?
This resort is located in the west belt of Makwanpur and Daman and Chandragiri Hills are famous tourist destinations around the area. However, people are unaware about the beauty and environment of Tistung Palung. There aren’t nearby hotels or resorts either.
You can enjoy mountain sightseeing and boating from this place and since I belong to this place, I wanted to do something in my village. This resort will also provide employment opportunities to the local people and uplift the economy by establishing a hospitality industry.
How is the flow of customers so far?
We had opened the hotel previously for a trial, took necessary feedbacks and officially opened up for business in November 2015. So we have an average of 50-60 guests regularly. We can accommodate 200 guests per day and since the local tourism has been on the rise recently, the flow of customers is good. This is a weekend destination; we have comparatively more customers for three days of the week.
Differences between local and foreign tourists?
Foreign tourists come to certain places for one significant activity whereas local tourists come to travel, stay for a few nights and then go back. It is difficult to attract foreign tourists as they need some activities which they can be engaged for a while. There is more scope of adventure tourism if we want foreign tourists. I have also made certain packages for foreign tourists, including boating, fishing, and sightseeing. In terms of food and cuisine, foreigners want more Nepali dishes and they are also more inclined towards sanitation facilities, for an example, they do not ask if there’s hot water service or not, they feel it’s mandatory in a resort.
How do you see the trend of tourism in Nepal lately?
Seeing so many hotels being established and still running successfully in such a competitive industry, I feel there has been a significant rise in the number of local tourists.
Previously, people used to go more often for picnic carrying their foods and only traveled for a few days. But these days the concept of retreats and outings are emerging. There are also trends of celebrating festivals such as Christmas, New Year and Holi. We have also increased number of foreign tourists lately. .
Who are your target customers for this resort?
We have plans to flourish domestically and promote the name ‘Tistung Palung’ and this beautiful area. But after making more improvements and establishing it properly, we will focus on international tourists because if you want to sustain in this industry you will need international tourists as the amount paid by one foreigner is equal to the amount invested by ten domestic tourists.