Kathmandu, March 20 (IANS) Due to lack of business amid the coronavirus pandemic, hotels across Nepal have decided to shut completely until the situation improves, a media report said.
While the Hyatt Regency, a five-star hotel based in Kathmandu, has decided to shut its entire business from Saturday, other establishments, including the Radisson and Marriot, were expected to follow suit, The Himlayan Times said in the report on Thursday.
“We have decided to shut down the hotel for at least six weeks beginning March 21. While the hotel lacks business, the decision also intends to prevent the possible spread of coronavirus among our staff and guests,” said Govinda Pariyar, a PR manager at Hyatt Regency.
According to Pariyar, the entire hotel service, including the casino will remain shut until further notice.
“We are an international hotel chain and must follow international practices prevalent in the sector,” The Himlayan Times quoted Pariyar as saying.
The hotel has also given leave to its 350-odd employees as long as it remains closed.
“All the staffers will stay on leave during the period. Though we might not be able to give them their full salary during this crisis period, we will certainly provide them with some relief,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shreejana Rana, President of the Hotel Association Nepal, said the sector was completely down as the inflow of foreign tourists had halted.
“The decision to operate or shut the business, however, depends on promoters,” said Rana, who is also the executive director of Hotel Annapurna.
She added that hoteliers would come up with a concrete decision within the next few days.
This development comes after the Nepal government earlier this month temporarily stopped issuing on-arrival tourist visas and also cancelled all spring mountaineering expeditions, including Everest ascents.
Nepal has so far reported only one coronavirus case.