Hotels open but customers yet to arrive

Hotels in Sauraha, the main gateway to the Chitwan National Park opened since the government lifted the lockdown but are yet to receive any guests. Soon after the hotels opened, movement of people was seen but residential guests have not yet arrived. Though foreign tourists were not likely, the entrepreneurs had expected to receive domestic tourists, said outgoing chair of Regional Hotel Association, Sauraha Suman Ghimire. “Three rooms of my hotel had been booked after we announced resumption of service, but the bookings were later cancelled,” said Ghimire who runs the Jungalee Safari Lodge. Other hotels who resumed service are also facing the same situation.

Hotel entrepreneurs are now looking forward to the resumption of long distance public transportation and aviation service announced for August 17. “We will have to shut down our businesses if guests do not turn up after August 17,” said president of Restaurant and Bar Association Chair Dipendra Khatiwada. The enthusiasm over resumption of service after a long gap has died now with the absence of guests and customers. The increasing number of Corona Virus cases across the country has created a fear among the people, thereby discouraging them to come for overnight stay, said Khatiwada. Half of the around 100 restaurants in Sauraha had opened with minimum number of staffers.

110 hotels in Sauraha provides employment to 5,500 people. The hotels and restaurants in Sauraha had opened after the lifting of the nationwide lockdown on July 30.