Thamel’s tourism business bounces back

KATHMANDU: Tourists’ mobility has visibly increased in Thamel – the main tourism hub in the Kathmandu Valley– with the advent of the autumn season. Tourism entrepreneurs are elated with the rise in the arrival of tourists.

The entrepreneurs have come across financial trouble with a sharp fall in the inflow of tourists in the wake of the devastating Gorkha earthquake, trade embargo by India and the coronavirus pandemic.

A new hope is simmering among the entrepreneurs with the gradual rise in the arrival of tourists at the onset of tourism season.

The influx of foreign tourists has increased in Thamel of late, said Thamel-based restaurant operator Bhagawan Thapa, who has been offering Thakali cuisine varieties.

“In earlier months, hardly 10-15 domestic and foreign guests used to visit my restaurant daily for eateries. But the number increased to 45-50 this month and most of them are foreigners,” he shared.

Kiran Dev Ghimire, who has been operating a stationery shop in Thamel for the past one-and-a-half decades, said the inflow of foreign tourists has increased in Thamel of late.

However, tourists have been facing trouble due to the lack of proper maintenance of dilapidated roads in Thamel which has established its international fame, he mentioned.

Fancy cloth operator Sitaram Regmi commented that business volume has not increased in Thamel despite a rise in tourism activities. “Fancy business transactions have dropped in Thamel this year compared to last year”.

The hotel business has a different story in Thamel. The occupancies in Thamel-based hotels have increased with the rising flow of tourists.

Mahesh Phuyal, the operator of Thamel-based four-star hotel Ramada Encore, said hotel rooms have been booked for the autumn season since a month before.

Sahadev Dhamala, proprietor of a hotel in Thamel, however, said the tourism business in Thamel has not been as anticipated due to short-term stay of tourists of late.

Dhamala, also the vice-chairperson of Thamel Tourism Development Council, said the Council has been holding discussions with different agencies on the measures to prolong the stay of foreign tourists in Thamel.

According to Nepal Tourism Board, a total of 692,372 tourists have entered Nepal via air routes in the first nine months of 2023. Among them, 91,012 tourists arrived in Nepal in the month of September alone. RSS

Fiscal Nepal |
Tuesday October 10, 2023, 10:07:58 AM |

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