Print Edition - 2017-12-13 | MONEY
Tourism growth spurs hotel expansion spree
- Infrastructure boom
Dec 13, 2017-
Strong domestic and foreign tourist growth has boosted Nepal’s hospitality industry, inspiring hotels and lodges to go on an expansion spree. According to the Economic Activities Study Report 2016-17 released by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), 6,188 room nights were added during the last fiscal year across the country.
The figure represents a 9.79 percent growth. The central bank’s study covered eight major cities—Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Janakpur, Birgunj, Pokhara, Siddharthanagar, Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi—in 57 districts.
The 2,501 tourist-standard hotels and lodges in the country produced 69,355 room nights daily, the survey report said. This translates into enough accommodation for 25.31 million persons annually with the existing infrastructure.
“There has been a significant rise in the registration of hotels and lodges in the country, and the amount of domestic and foreign investment commitments has been increasing. This indicates a better situation in the country which could lead to increased travel movement in this fiscal year,” the survey said.
Hotel occupancy has been improving which is leading to increased foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector, the report said. Improvements in the electricity supply and fewer strikes, combined with a sharp growth in domestic tourist movement, has given a big boost to the country’s hospitality industry.
The central bank’s report shows that Nepal received 790,011 foreign tourists in the last fiscal year ending mid-July, up 29 percent from the previous year.
Amar Man Shakya, president of Hotel Association Nepal (Han), said the report of the survey conducted by NRB almost matches that of Han’s own study.
According to Shakya, Han’s study shows that registered hotels produced 38,242 room nights while unregistered hotels produced 30,000 room nights. “The government needs to bring these hotels into the tax net.”
“The hospitality segment has received one of the highest amounts of investment,” he said, adding that investments in the hospitality industry had reached more than Rs230 billion. “An additional Rs30 billion has been injected into the industry in the last few years.”
By 2020, the Kathmandu Valley will see an additional 4,000 room nights. The scenario is quite encouraging, but the government needs to immediately address infrastructure bottlenecks like roads and airports, he said.
“If tourist figures are to be augmented in line with the booming hospitality industry, there is an immediate need to address the problems plaguing Tribhuvan International Airport which is the only aerial gateway to Nepal.”
The NRB study shows that Kathmandu has the highest number of tourist standard hotels and lodges followed by Pokhara and Birgunj. The Kathmandu Valley has 750 hotels and lodges, producing 27,371 room nights.
Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Sindhupalchok, Kavrepalanchok, Dhading, Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Dolakha districts were included in the Kathmandu area for the purpose of the survey.
Similarly, the survey revealed that the 801 hotels in the lakeside city of Pokhara produced 17,029 room nights. Kaski, Tanahu, Lamjung, Gorkha, Syangja, Baglung, Parbat, Myagdi and Mustang districts were included in the Pokhara area for the purpose of the study.
There are 494 tourist standard hotels and lodges in Birgunj which produced 13,496 room nights.
Likewise, Nepalgunj has 169 hotels and lodges. The city produces 4,274 rooms per night. Biratnagar in the eastern region produces 2,759 room nights from 151 hotels and lodges.
There are 46 and 38 hotels and lodges in Janakpur and Dhangadhi respectively which produce 1,380 and 1,116 room nights. Siddharthanagar or Bhairahawa has 52 hotels producing 1,930 room nights.
Tourist-standard hotel capacity
Area Hotels and lodges Room
Kathmandu 750 27,371
Pokhara 801 17,029
Birgunj 494 13,496
Nepalgunj 169 4,274
Biratnagar 151 2,759
Siddharthanagar 52 1,930
Janakpur 46 1,380
Dhangadhi 38 1,116
Total 2,501 69,355
Published: 13-12-2017 07:31