Advance hotel bookings suffer due to coronavirus – myRepublica
BHAIRAHAWA, February 5: The widespread coronavirus outbreak in China has affected the tourism industry in Nepal. Advance reservations and hotel packages are being canceled by Chinese tourists due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Hotels in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and Bhairahawa have witnessed the cancellation of hotel reservations from Chinese tourists. According to Yadav Prasad Pandey, Manager of The Peak Bodhi Redsun Hotel, February is a good season for tourism but tourist arrival is very low this season. “Chinese groups have started canceling reservations in advance. There were 12 advance bookings in February but they were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak in China. Tourists from other countries also canceled the reservation, this is a negative sign in the initial phase of the tourist season,” Pandey said.
Similarly, according to Luxury International Nirvana Hotel, eight Chinese groups have canceled their reservations for February. Not only Chinese tourists, but a group of South Korean tourists also canceled the reservation due to the coronavirus.
According to Mithun Man Shrestha, president of the Lumbini Hotel Association, the number of Chinese tourists has decreased in Lumbini due to the coronavirus.
Along with Lumbini, the effect is also seen in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara. According to Chandra Prakash Shrestha, a regional member of the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), the coronavirus outbreak in China is likely to affect the country’s tourism industry.
The number of foreign tourists arriving from the Belahiya border post to visit Lumbini also decreased in January. 11,759 international tourists arrived in Lumbini from Belahiya in January.
According to the Lumbini Development Trust, 13,107 international tourists, 13,978 Indian tourists and 67,942 Nepali tourists visited Lumbini in January 2020, down 48,060 from last year.
Sanjay Bajimaya, a tourism entrepreneur, said the inconvenience caused by the construction of the Bhairahawa-Lumbini road and the recent coronavirus outbreak in China have affected tourist arrivals in Lumbini.