Kathmandu May 3.
Hotels in Sauraha, one of the major touristic destinations in Chitwan, are likely to remain closed at least till the upcoming Dashain festival. Hotels were closed with the enforcement of lockdown against the COVID-19 crisis. According to Regional Hotel Association Chair Deepak Bhattarai, Sauraha-based hoteliers have agreed not to resume business before the Dashain. However, small hotels and restaurants may get back to business with the end of lockdown. “The decision not to reopen big hotels is for avoiding additional loss as we are almost sure that no foreign tourists are arriving here in the wake of the relaxation of lockdown,” Bhattarai added. As said by Association outgoing chair Suman Ghimire, a period from third week of May to second week of September is usually off-season for hotel business as this is also off season for tourism industry. Besides, the arrival of tourists for mountain climbing is less likely this time and bearing all these factors in mind, hotel entrepreneurs in Sauraha are mentally prepared to reopen business only in Dashain targeting internal tourists. There are 150 tourist hotels in Chitwan and its neighbouring district Nawal parasi and over 5,500 are employed there. The bank loan of these hotels stands above Rs 19. 5 billion and the owners have demanded the facility of re-loan for them to cope with the losses caused by the crisis.