Published On: January 31, 2023 01:15 PM NPT By: Dilip Poudel
KATHMANDU, Jan 30: With great expectations of an increase in the number of tourists visiting the country, the private sector has increased investment in the hotel business. According to the Department of Industry (DoI), registrations were done with a commitment to invest around 12 billion rupees in new hotels in the first half of the current fiscal year.
According to the DoI, investment commitments of 12 billion 172 million rupees have been received in 18 hotels in the first four months of the current fiscal year. There are new investments in hotels ranging from millions to billions of rupees. While some are trying their hands at the hotel business making new investments, old hotels are also expanding infrastructure by adding investment.
Recently, with the increase in tourism activities across the country, there has been an increase in investment from tourist hotels to international chain hotels. According to the officials of the Nepal Hotel Association (HAN), direct foreign investment has entered the hotel sector, including from the Nepali private sector and foreign investment. HAN estimates that the total investment made in all hotels in the country would be approximately 350 billion rupees. After the construction of regional international airports in Pokhara and Bhairahawa, investors have increased their investment. Looking at the situation from home stays to chain hotels, infrastructure has been prepared to accommodate more than 2.5 million tourists at a time.
In Ayushman Hotels Limited, 2.51 billion rupees is being invested. It will be operated at Mechinagar in Jhapa. The company said that the 95-bed hotel will also have a restaurant with a capacity of 190 people. Hotel Eastern Nepal Pvt Ltd and Budhanilkantha Heritage Limited have registered with the Department of Industry with a commitment to invest 1.69 billion rupees and 2.4 billion rupees, respectively.
Similarly, there are new investments in Maria Hotel and Restaurant Pvt. Ltd., Yuvan Hotel and Restaurant Pvt. Ltd., Hua Lin Hotel and Restaurant Pvt. Ltd., Jin Man Hotel Pvt. Ltd., Manakamana Retreat Resort & Spa Pvt. Ltd., Hotel Grand Central Pvt. Ltd., Pashupati Recreation Pvt. Ltd., Azu Holding Pvt. Ltd., Hai Mei Hotel & Restaurant Pvt. Ltd., Hotel Panchavati Pvt. Ltd., Dorje’s Farm Resort Pvt. Ltd., Lottery Chicken Chop Pvt. Ltd., Pleasure Nepal Pvt. Ltd., and Mars Hospitality Group.
From small businesses to corporate houses in Nepal are increasing investments in hotels. New hotels are being added in big cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Biratnagar, Jhapa, Nepalgunj, Butwal, Dhangadhi etc. Some hotels are currently under construction.
According to hoteliers, building a five-star hotel costs around ten million rupees for one room. Tourism activity declined to zero for some time following the earthquake. After that, the tourism and hotel sector that was gradually reviving was greatly affected by COVID-19. With the increase in tourism activity this year, the arrival of foreign tourists has increased.
In 2022, as many as 614,000 foreign tourists visited Nepal. Tourist arrival was very low during the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to 2020 and 2021, the tourist arrival increased significantly in 2022. According to Nepal Tourism Board, although it was estimated that 500,000 foreign visitors would enter in 2022, the arrival increased significantly. About 23 percent more tourists arrived than the board's estimate. According to the World Tourism Organization, the tourism sector, which was disrupted by COVID-19, has returned to normalcy. The organization said that in 2022, the tourism sector improved by 60 to 65 percent.
Before the COVID-19 infection started, in 2019, as many as 1.197 million foreign tourists came to Nepal in one year. In 2020, only 230,000 foreign tourists came due to COVID-19, while in 2021, 150,000 tourists came. Most tourists come to Nepal from India followed by America, UK, Australia, China, Bangladesh and European countries.
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