Thursday Sep 28, 2023
Thursday Sep 28, 2023

Hotel bookings on the rise, signs of tourism revival

2023 Mar 04, 10:04, Kathmandu
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Foreign tourists are gradually starting to appear in Thamel, the major tourist hub in the federal capital, Kathmandu.

With the reappearance of a large number of tourists in the streets of Thamel, tourism entrepreneurs are hoping for a revival of their businesses, severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The tourism sector of Nepal, which has been suffering since the corona pandemic for a long time, is happy with the arrival of tourists", said the President of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Nilhari Bastola.

The months of March, April, and May are considered the start of the tourist season in Nepal. The number of hotel bookings by foreign tourists has increased with the start of the tourist season, said Gopal Pangeni, the owner of the four-star hotel Ramada Encore in Thamel. He said that 70 percent of rooms in his hotel 92 rooms have been booked for March and 90 percent for April and May.

This shows that the tourism sector of Nepal will gradually gain momentum in the months to come.

More than 80 percent of the tourism business in Thamel relies on foreign tourists while 20 percent of the business comes from domestic tourists. There are more than a thousand hotels in and around the Thamel area. "Foreign tourists have gradually started to be seen in the inner streets of Thamel", said President of Thamel Tourism Development Council Bhaviswar Sharma.

Likewise, the guests coming for late-night entertainment have also started getting crowded. During the weekends on Friday and Saturday, there is more activity in Thamel. Night clubs in Thamel have also started to return to usual business.

The proprietor of the Shot Station Restaurant and Bar, Dharmaraj Paneru, said that the number of foreign guests who come to Thamel for entertainment at night has increased. "Since the last 15 days, the night business is gradually getting better, which has made us happy", he says.

Director of Nepal Tourism Board Maniraj Lamichhane says that the arrival of foreign tourists is encouraging in recent days.

A total of 73,255 tourists visited Nepal by air in February 2023. In January the number was 55,074. Last year in February only 19,766 tourists arrived in Nepal while it was just 9,146 tourists in 2021, according to records maintained by the NTB.



Foreign Tourists Hotel bookings on the rise signs of tourism revival Thamel tourist hub Kathmandu TAAN Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal Nepal Tourism Board
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