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Category: Hotel and Tourism

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Govt prepares draft amendments for hotel standardization

In a bid to improve the standard of hotels in line with international norms, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has made some amendments to the standardization criteria for hotels.

The amendments would include addition of deluxe five star hotels in the standard list, 20 percent increase of rooms in all star hotels, mandatory Wi-Fi, CCTV LCD/LED TV facility in all rooms of star hotels.

Earlier, the government has issued the order in the gazette entitled “Hotel Standard 1998” based on Hotel Lodge, Restaurant, Bar and Tour Operator Regulation 1981.
“In order to improve the quality of services as well as standard of hotels in Nepal, we have amended the standardization criteria in consultation with Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN). The amendments would be published in the Nepal gazette soon,” said Mohan Krishna Sapkota, spokesperson for MoCTCA.

The hotel standardization committee which included members from MoCTCA and HAN had come up with various suggestions, which have been forwarded to the Ministry of Law and Justice for final approval. “We have submitted the final document, which mainly includes improving the quality and management of hotels, to MoCTCA last week,” said Tek Prasad Dhungana, spokesperson for the Ministry of Law and Justice.

According to Prabin Bahadur Pandey, coordinator of the committee, the committee has focused more on modernization and standardization of the hotels, especially the star hotels. HAN has compiled with the standards of Hotel Association Thailand, Australian Hotel Association and Indian Hotel Standard to prepare the draft amendments.

Pandey also the executive member of HAN said the amendments mostly focus on star hotels. “We have added deluxe five star category, targeting upcoming chain hotels and existing five star hotels seeking upgrade,” said Pandey. The deluxe hotels should meet the criteria such as a minimum of 200 rooms, more than five food and beverage outlets, banquets of 6,000 square feet and above, vehicle scanning equipment and baggage scanner, among others.

For non star hotels, the proposed amendments include removing the criteria of compulsory parking area and adding up facilities so as to convert into star hotels. “The amendments for non star hotels are basically for registration,” said Sapkota.

source: republica, 10 OCT 2013

Barbecue & mountain documentaries at Radisson

Every Friday evening, from 6 pm onwards, relax at the spacious outdoors of The Terrace Garden at Radisson Hotel Kathmandu in Lazimpat with an unlimited helping of barbecue and a selection of mountain documentaries.

Master creations from the newly joined Executive Chef Alston Mathias, you can enjoy char-grilled pork ribs, barbecued chicken and fish fillets accompanied by a variety of barbecue sauces, soups, salads, steamed vegetables and roast potatoes.

“A lot of Nepalis like Asian foods. We’re going to serve Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian and a variety of flavors every week from different regions of Asia,” says Executive Chef Mathias, adding, “We’ll also be providing Nepali foods in the upcoming barbecues.”

Food-wise, these evenings will be all about the spirit of a good barbecue. Modern and traditional styles of cooking will be incorporated together to bring in new flavors and give guests something different to look forward to every week. Guests can expect eight to 10 varieties of barbecue every week with three to four items on the menu being vegetarian items.

The coupling of a barbecue evening with the showcase of mountain documentaries has been done keeping in mind the fact that it is the trekking season and that there will be a lot of guests coming in for the purpose of trekking. However, the event is open to all – trekkers or not, Nepalis or foreigners.

Priced at Rs 1,500 net per person, guests can enjoy the unlimited barbecue selection with a complimentary bottle of Carlsberg. The barbecue promotions will go on till mid-December.

source: republica, 22 Sept 2013

Hotel reservations show full of promise as booking tops 85pc

After recording low occupancies in the first half of September, advance reservations in five-star hotels have picked up, with most booked at over 85 percent for October and November-the prime tourist season in Nepal.

Five-star hotel executives said they are expecting full occupancy this tourist season given the current trend of bookings. According to them, improved movement from the European countries and swelling arrivals from China is expected to boost the occupancy of hotels-one of the major contributors to the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

Kaushal Kumar Singh, sales and marketing director of the Hotel Everest, said advance reservations for October has crossed 90 percent, and November bookings are traditionally better than October.

“The second half of September has not been so good. But advance reservation trends have shown hotel rooms in the city will be sold out until November,” Singh said.

“Chinese bookings are still to come, as they tend to book within a week.”

According to him, the Everest hotel has received the most reservations from the Asian market, followed by the European segment.

The Sept-Nov period is the most popular for trekking in Nepal, accounting for 40 percent of the total tourists in Nepal. As the monsoon season comes to an end and skies are clear for mountain views, trails in the hills become horrendously busy with trekkers.

“Besides trekkers, we have greater numbers of international conferences and corporate movement this season,” said Bharat Joshi, resident manager of the Hotel Yak and Yeti. Joshi said that advance bookings in the hotel have reserved 85 percent of the 240 rooms for October, and 82 percent for November.

“We expect that our room occupancy will cross 96 percent this season,” said Joshi. Last year, the recession in the European market slightly affected the hotel business sector.

However, Joshi said that arrivals from the European market have improved this season. Drop-in Indian movement, which has become a worrying factor for travel trade entrepreneurs, is also likely to improve in response to the appreciation of the US dollar.

The market insiders say that due to the strong dollar, outbound travel has become expensive for Indian tourists and this factor could encourage them to take short trips to Nepal this year.

Another five-star property, the Hotel Shangri La has also reported healthy bookings this season. “We are likely to achieve 96 percent occupancy in both October and November,” said Mohan Khanal, group sales and marketing manager of the Shangri La Hotel and Resort.

The hotel was close to 90 percent occupancy last year. Khanal said that British and Australian tourists were the hotel’s major clients, and that there has been improved movement from the European market also this season.

“Besides, the Chinese have now become our major clients,” said Khanal. Arrivals from China to Nepal jumped 24 percent to 38,767 in the first eight months of 2013. To cash in on the opportunity, most of the five-star properties have hiked their room tariff by almost 10-15 percent.

Hoteliers said that based on demand and supply, tariffs are normally revised upward. There are 10 five-star properties in Nepal (eight in Kathmandu and two in Pokhara). The government statistics show that the eight five-star hotels in Kathmandu produced 539,850 room nights last year, out of which 360,407 were sold.

Hotels record the highest occupancy in November, followed by October, March, April, May and June, with an average occupancy of above 60 percent in 2012. The highest room occupancy of 88.50 percent was recorded in November by the Kathmandu-based five star hotels. While the hotels reveled in their impressive performances during the peak tourist season, the off-season average occupancy rates stood at 55 percent last year.

On average, Kathmandu-based five-star properties registered 66.76 percent occupancy in 2012, up 0.65 percent year on year.

source: the kathmandu post, 19 Sept 2013

Barahi Jungle Lodge getting good response

Barahi Jungle Lodge, a new venture of Hotel Barahi, Pokhara, which started operation earlier this month, is getting good response from visitors.
The Meghauli-based jungle lodge was established with an Rs 250 million targeting foreign tourists.

“We have already served two groups of tourists,” Biplav Paudel, executive director of the lodge said, adding, “We have already received bookings for October.”
The owners are promoting the lodge as an international standard luxury hotel in the vicinity of Chitwan National Park. They´ve planted different species of plants in the lodge premises to give customers the feeling of staying inside the jungle.

Naresh Kshetri, camp manager of the lodge, said they have planted 4,500 plants mainly of fruits and herbs.
The lodge has two suites and 35 rooms. The room charge ranges from US$ 300 to $900. It has floated a package of Rs 15,000 for Nepalis.

According to Paudel, the hotel has incorporated the concept of ´Green Hotel´ by utilizing recycled woods. It aims to serve organic fruits, vegetables and milk produced at the farm in the lodge premises to the visitors. Furthermore, it has banned the use of plastic bags to save environment.

source: republica, 16 Sept 2013

Soaltee bags Today’s Traveller Award

Soaltee Crowne Plaza Kathmandu has won the prestigious Today’s Traveller Award 2013 for the Best International Business Hotel.

Oscar Fernandes, India’s minister of Road Transport and Highways, presented the award to Nalin Mandiratta, general manager of the hotel.

The award ceremony held in New Delhi was attended by known personalities from the hotel industry, travel trade and airlines.

Today’s Traveller Award is one of India’s most respected travel and tourism industry awards incorporated in 2007 with an objective of recognizing exceptional achievers and contributors, who have inspired all the players in the hospitality, travel and tourism industry.

Well known for its architecturally stunning exteriors, mountainous surroundings, comfortable rooms, state of the art meeting facilities, impeccable service and world class amenities, the iconic Soaltee hotel has received numerous awards and recognition in the past for excellent service delivery to all guest, the hotel said in a press statement.

source: ekantipur, 07 Sept 2013

30 New hotels coming up in Pokhara

Pokhara, the most popular tourist destination of the country, is set to get 30 new hotels in a year, as entrepreneurs are readily investing more money in the hospitality industry to cater to the growing inflow of domestic as well as foreign tourists. According to Pokhara Tourism Office, entrepreneurs have taken permission for the construction 30 new hotels in the lake city. Likewise, the office has also issued permits to build eight hotels in nearby districts. Four of the hotels will be built in Mustang, while two will be built in Myagdi and one each in Tanahun and Baglung. Most of the new hotels are of tourist class category. The new hotels are being constructed with investment in range of Rs 600,000 to Rs 20 million, depending upon their size, capacity and location . At least Rs 160 million is being invested in these hotels, according to the office.

The new hotels will add 450 rooms and 850 beds in Pokhara alone. With the fresh permit, the number of hotels in the city has reached about 600. Entrepreneurs said they are investing in hotel industry mainly because they are hopeful that the positive impact of Nepal Tourism Year (NTY) 2011, which brought in substantial number of tourists in the city, would continue to have its effect in the coming years as well. Referring to the recent ´Vision 2020´ the government has accorded top priority to the tourism sector and has promised to launch special programs to promote the sector consistently through these years. Pokhara is presently serving half a million tourists, including domestic visitors, in a year.

Not just the hotel industry, travel and trekking businesses have also recorded substantial rise in investment over the year. Seventeen travel agencies and eight trekking agencies have received permission from Pokhara Tourism Office so far this year. Together they have injected fresh investment of Rs 55 million in the travel trade industry.With these new agencies, the number of travel and trekking agencies in Pokhara has reached 188 and 83 respectively.

Source: Hotel Association Nepal