Hotels in Ilam, which have been reeling under financial problems for almost two years due to COVID-19, are now getting occupied thanks to the arrival of Dashain, one of the biggest festivals of the Nepali people.
Hoteliers said that the number of domestic tourists had started increasing as the infection of coronavirus was gradually decreasing.
New hotels were also started in the district by investing millions of rupees targeting the Visit Nepal 2020 announced by the government. However, the pandemic and subsequent strictures imposed by the government in March last year kept them out of business.
“We are feeling better now as the coronavirus cases are decreasing and the festival season is fast approaching,” said Sharada Parajuli, manager of the Green City Hotel, in the district headquarters.
Most of the big hotels in the district headquarters are now receiving up to 15 guests daily. Hotels are being booked for the upcoming Dashain, said Dambar Sapkota, manager of Green View Hotel.
According to the Hotel Association of Ilam, the number of domestic tourists has recently increased in hotels, cottages and homestays in the tourist spots including Antu, Kanyam and Sandakpur.
According to Devi Poudyal, president of the Hotel Association Ilam, investors had to bear huge financial losses when they had to close down their businesses in the wake of the pandemic. “Some businesses have gone out of business, but now the situation is somewhat comfortable,” Poudyal added.
It is said that the stay time of tourists in Ilam is encouraging due to the devotees going to visit the Pathibhara temple of Taplejung via Ilam.
According to the association, there are 60 large hotels, 200 medium hotels and 190 small hotels in the district. These hotels have a daily turnover of over Rs 7.2 million.
On the other hand, Antu, which is a popular tourist destination, is also bustling with tourists. More than 200 tourists visit the place on a daily basis.
According to Rudra Ghimire, a local tourism entrepreneur, 800 tourists started arriving daily on holidays and Fridays and Saturdays.
It is said that hotels, cottages and homestays will be booked till Dashain in Antu, which is famous to observe the sunrise views.
Source : TRN,