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Tourism In Time of COVID-19: Rs 30 Billion of Investment at Risk in Chitwan

As ongoing pandemic coronavirus infection continues hitting the normal life and people’s mobility, Rs 30 billion plus investment made in hotel and tourism industry in Chitwan district is at the risk.
Tourists in Nepal (Image for Representation). Image Courtesy: Google Images

N24 Staff Writer, CHITWAN: As ongoing pandemic coronavirus infection continues hitting the normal life and people’s mobility, Rs 30 billion plus investment made in hotel and tourism industry in Chitwan district is at the risk.

Small and big-scale hotels and restaurants run in the district have remained closed due to prohibitory order imposed to prevent and control coronavirus infection. Around 1,250 hotels operated at different places in the district including Sauraha and others sites are closed for almost six months now.

Bishow Subedi, a tourism sector researcher, said that there are 225 tourist hotels in the district and almost 50 per cent of such hotels are in Sauraha. He further said that there are 29 tourist hotels in Ratnanagar area and 65 in Bharatpur Metropolitan City.

The tourist hotels used to make transaction of Rs 10.5 million every day in tourist season while other hotels also used to make almost equal amount of transaction. Hotel entrepreneurs said that their everyday income from additional touristic activities including jeep safari, boat safari and elephant safari was around three million.

A study shows that 16,000 workers are working in hotels and restaurants in the district and more than 30 billion has been invested on this sector.

Chairperson of Regional Hotel association in Sauraha Chapter, Deepak Bhattarai, said that we have hoped more domestic tourists’ flow in Chitwan district during Dashain festival. “But, now we have lost our hope due to coronavirus pandemic,” he added.

Likewise, outgoing President Chairman of Regional Hotel Association Suman Ghimire said that the hoteliers would bear huge losses if they resume their business until the favourable environment was fully restored. He said that both the businesspersons and labourers were on the same boat during this sorry state. “All the labourers are laid off. Their daily life is severely affected,” Ghimire added.

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