It’s boom time for the country’s star hotels. With the autumn tourist season in full swing, five-star hotels are enjoying robust business. Hoteliers say their business has grown by over 30 percent this month compared to the same period last year.
October and November are the prime tourist season in Nepal that accounts about 30 percent of the total tourist arrivals. According to the data of the Immigration Office at Tribhuvan International Airport, over 2,000 tourists have been arriving daily since the beginning of October. On Oct. 21, 2,339 tourists landed at TIA. The number was the highest on Oct. 16 when the country received 2,710 tourists by air.
The tourist arrival statistics show that there would be more tourists this October and November. Till Oct. 21, 42,428 tourists had arrived in Nepal by air. There were 56,009 tourists recorded in October while the arrival figure in November was 39,784 last year.
The encouraging volume of arrivals has boosted the hotel business on the one hand while there have been problems with accommodation due to a shortage of rooms in the five-star hotels, hoteliers said. Most of the five-star hotels in the capital are sold out for October while they have over 80 percent bookings for November.
Amir K. Pradhananga, director of sales at the Everest Hotel, said that business surged by 35 percent until the third quarter of October compared to the same month last year. The rooms at the Everest Hotel have been sold out for this month while the November booking status has crossed 90 percent. “Asian, Japanese and European tourists are the major customers coming to the hotel,” said Pradhananga.
Similarly, the Yak & Yeti is booked solid till Oct. 31. The hotel has 85 percent bookings for November. “Our business grew by 20 percent this season compared to the same month last year,” said Bharat Joshi, sales and marketing director.
Joshi added that the hotel had been receiving high-end tourists who are here for leisure and trekking. The Yak & Yeti’s guests include 30 percent French, 15 percent American, 10 percent British and 5-7 percent Belgium citizens. The Shangri-La Hotel also has no vacancies this month. Bookings for November amount to about 96 percent. “We have been receiving a number of requests from visitors for rooms as all the major star hotels are occupied,” said Raju Bikram Shah, general manager of the Shangri-La hotel.
Although the Shangri-La is doing good business, growth for this month has been the same as last year. “We have had consistent business since 2007,” Shah said.
However, the number of Indian tourists coming for conferences has slightly decreased at the major five-star hotels, which the hoteliers said was due to the festive season in India. “Tourists basically arrive here for leisure and trekking in October, which can be the reason why the number of visitors coming for conferences is lean,” said Sony Chaudhary, assistant marketing and PR manager at the Soaltee Crowne Plaza. The Soaltee Crowne Plaza witnessed a growth of 20 percent in business compared to the same period last year. The hotel’s guest list mostly consists of American, European and Indian visitors.
According to the Immigration Office, TIA, arrivals till Oct. 21 consisted of 4,782 travellers from India, 3,883 from the UK, 3,833 from Germany, 3,662 from the US and 3,687 from France.