New road results in losses for hotels

- AASH GURUNG, BAHUN DANDA (LAMJUNG)

Mar 6, 2016-

Hotels along the Annapurna Circuit have complained that the construction of the road connecting Lamjung’s Besishahar and Manang’s Chame has resulted in losses for them, with tourists opting for hiring vehicles to travel to Chame instead of trekking.

Super View, a tourist-standard hotel at Bahundanda that can accommodate 30 

individuals at a time, said the occupancy has dropped significantly lately. 

“The hotel used to be fully occupied during the peak season. We used to get 9-10 travellers even during the off season. But now, we have been getting just 2-3 tourists a day,” said the hotel’s proprietor Paru Gurung.

The hotel used to record yearly profit of up to Rs900,000 before the road was built four years ago, she said. “But now, it’s difficult to earn even Rs100,000 a year.” Bahundanda is a place where trekkers spend a night after first day of their trek on the circuit. 

“Hotels in Bahundanda area facing severe crisis,” said Chitra Bahadur Ghimire, proprietor of Alpine Hotel, adding there are 10 tourist-standard hotels here. Nepal Army opened the track of the 65km Besishahar-Chame road, along the Marshyangdi River, four years ago.

Bishnu Gurung, proprietor of Kamala Lodge at Nadi, Bhulbhule, is even considering exiting the business. “Tourists go directly to Chame now on vehicles,” she said. Her hotel can accommodate 20 people at a time. “We used to earn Rs400,000-500,000 in a season, which has now come down to Rs70,000-80,000.”

Proprietor of Hikers Lodge Teju Gurung said they were first hit hard by the decade-long conflict, and as the business was starting to pick up, another problem arose. “People who have been in the hotel business for long have started to exit,” he said. 

According to Dhan Prasad Gurung from Ghermu-5, tourists no longer stop there, they rather stay at Syange. Proprietor Rambo Guest House said after opening of the road, the number of tourists has come down by 70 percent. There are 10 tourist-standard hotels in Ghermu.

 

Published: 06-03-2016 10:39

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