Nepali hotels reopen after Covid-19 lockdown, but uncertainty over business persists

Kathmandu, July 30

Following the government’s decision to reopen tourism businesses and activities after the end of the four-month-long lockdown, hotels and restaurants across the country have resumed their operation on Thursday. However, they are uncertain if they will make any profit anytime soon.

Though the hotels have reopened, both domestic and air services are suspended till August 17 whereas long-route public transportation is also not in operation. Moreover, some places in the country have seen an increase in the new coronavirus infection cases, and people fear traveling. The government has barred hotels from hosting big events, parties, and celebrations.

Accordingly, individual hotels can decide on their own regarding when to reopen, according to Hotel Association Nepal.

“Reopening a hotel does not mean that we have begun welcoming the guests today itself,” a hotelier Yubaraj Shrestha, also a member of the association, “It means we have reopened our offices. Now, we will start booking rooms.”

Now, the hoteliers will speed up preparations for their service once the tourist arrival resumes, Shrestha says. “Further, it gives a message that we are open,” he adds.

Entrepreneurs hope it will still take a few more months for Nepal to get back to normal tourism activities. In previous years, Nepal used to host a lot of trekkers. Hence, a few trekkers could come here in October-November.

The association’s senior vice-president Binayak Shah says around 20 percent of the bookings for the autumn have not canceled yet.

Source: Online Khabar