Kathmandu: The upcoming Gregorian New Year is expected to boost the tourism sector hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic for nearly two years, as bookings in hotels in the major touristic destinations see a sudden boom.
After a long downfall of the industry, tourism entrepreneurs are expecting a boost as hotel bookings see a sharp rise in the last few days for the upcoming New Year.
Nepal Live Today talked to a few hotel entrepreneurs in major tourist destinations—Pokhara, Chitwan, Dhulikhel, Kathmandu, and Nagarkot. According to them, the bookings are overwhelming in the industry that saw a recession for more than two years.
According to the Regional Hotel Association, Chitwan, at least 50 percent of hotel rooms in Sauraha, one of the major tourist destinations of Nepal, have already been booked by domestic tourists for the upcoming New Year. “We are expecting a slight boost after two years. Having said that, the situation is still not the same as it was two years ago,” said Deepak Bhattarai, president of Chitwan Regional Hotel Association.
“During new years, hotels in Sauraha used to record almost 90 percent bookings. The industry is hit hard by the pandemic,” he said, adding the new variant of Covid-19 further hit the tourism sector.
“We were expecting bookings from Indian tourists too,” he added.
Hoteliers in Sauraha expect the bookings to reach 70-80 percent by the New Year.
Likewise, the Hotel Association Pokhara also said the bookings to reach 80 percent within a few days. “The arrival has increased after Christmas. But still, the bookings are still less compared to the new year a few years ago. Having said that, the arrival this year is overwhelming as the industry is on a downfall for the last two years,” said Laxman Subedi, president of Hotel Association Pokhara.
Tourism entrepreneurs say the footfall of domestic tourists was overwhelming on Christmas in Thamel. “The footfall shows domestic tourists want to get out after two years. This has given a ray of hope to entrepreneurs after two years despite the threat of Covid-19,” said the Hotel Association of Nepal.
Many hotels in major tourist destinations have also introduced attractive offers to attract domestic tourists in the upcoming new year. Hotel entrepreneurs expect that the new year will give the much-needed impetus to revive the tourism industry that has suffered a major setback due to the pandemic.