The tourism sector here was slowly returning to an earlier phase after the first wave of COVID-19 cases became less. Regional Hotel Association, Chitwan chapter Chairperson Deepak Bhattarai shared that the hotels that were shut down for so long in the first wave of coronavirus infection were opening and running in the recent days.
But due to the growing cases of the second wave of pandemic, hotels have been compelled to shut down once again, driving the tourism entrepreneurs to despair.
"Tourism sector was expected to boom in coming months," said Deepak adding that all the bookings have been cancelled and events planned for different period of times have been called off as well.
Due to the shutdown of hotels, the tourism sector in Sauraha hasincurred a loss worth Rs 8-Rs 8.5 million on a daily basis. The occupancy rate in the hotels here stands at 5 per cent only.
There are a total of 115 hotels in Sauraha, which have contributed to generating around 5,000 jobs, according to the tourism entrepreneurs. Over 6,000 tourists could be accommodated in those hotels. Over Rs 33 billion have been invested in the tourism sector in Sauraha.
Outgoing Chairperson at the Association Suman Ghimire informed that cancellation of bookings have cast a pale of despair among the tourism entrepreneurs.
Sauraha, which houses Chitwan National Park, is popular for a myriad of tourism activities including bird watching and jungle safari.