KATHMANDU, July 3: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai has said that the hotel business in the country will resume at the earliest.
Speaking at a press conference at the ministry on Friday afternoon, Minister Bhattarai said that discussions are being held to resume the operations of hotel businesses after evaluating the risk of the COVID-19 infection. “At the same time, resuming the operation of hotels won’t be effective as mobility of tourists has come to a halt,” he said, adding that the ministry is holding consultations with people of various sectors to make it effective.
Minister Bhattarai also said that the ministry is collaborating with Nepal Tourism Board on adopting various precautionary measures if hotels resume their services in the following days. He stressed the need for applying preventive measures against the spread of the COVID-19 infection to attract tourists. “We have requested the hoteliers to prepare necessary protocol,” said he, adding that the ministry is ready to sit for discussions regarding this if they come up with the protocol.
According to him, air services will not resume anytime soon although the airlines have prepared and submitted the protocols to the ministry. Reminding the fact that the graph of COVID-19 infection is on the rise, he, however, committed to tabling a proposal at the COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) regarding the operation of hotels only after analyzing the statistics of other countries and consulting the tourism entrepreneurs.
On a different note, he said that the under-construction Gautam Buddha International Airport will be completed by December 20 this year. Commercial flights will begin only after a three-month preparatory phase once the physical construction completes, he added.