Binayak Shah: Bettering the standards of hotels in Nepal
9th Aug, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew
Tourism is one of the major sectors of Nepal. Many organizations are working together to make this tourism industry better. Hotels are the major aspects that make the tourism industry better. Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) is the leading representative organization in hospitality industry, representing more than 300 hotels, resorts and guest houses of Nepal. HAN is the official voice of Nepal’s hoteliers that safeguards their lawful interest and promotes unity and cooperate among its members.
For over 49 years, HAN have helped their members to grow in business by maintaining a high profile with governments, developing strategies and innovative marketing programs, creating networks, voicing their concerns and providing current industry information and resources. To know more about HAN and tourism industry we interviewed Binayak Shah, General Secretary of HAN. He has also been working as the Managing Director of Airport Hotel.
Q: Number of star hotels is increasing in Nepal, what should be done to increase the number of tourists?
One of the major things that are required for the increase in number of tourists is infrastructural development. Road that links India and China should be created as well as the airport should be maintained. There are altogether 22 points from which we can travel Nepal. We have Tatopani and Rasuwa to export and import goods but there are no platform for other tourist entrance. We must have other platforms for connectivity. Likewise, proper plans must be created; as we have plans to invite 2 million tourists by 2020 we must be able to create a proper policy and plan to make the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign successful.
Q:What is Hotel Association of Nepal doing these days?
We work under certain construction in which we look after the members’ interests. We help the hotels to increase their standard to promote our country and compete with other countries like India, Malaysia, China and Bangkok. We also introduce various schemes like Gastronomy, Eco- tourism, heritage and others. Likewise, we identify the tourism products in every province by collaborating with Tourism Board.
Q: What are the challenges of tourism in our country? What can be done to solve them?
The main challenge of tourism in our country is connectivity. We have a huge potential to invite the tourists but we lack connectivity. Tribhuwan International Airport has 7 billion rupees but the delivery process is very slow. We should work efficiently toward the project and the projects should be accomplished on time to make the plans successful. To develop these challenges, the first thing that we need is effective and efficient development. We have huge economic agenda and we should work on them. We should improve our services. We all have certain role and we must be responsible and work accordingly. If we remain positive towards the development and give our best towards making the tourism of our country successful then we can surely develop our country’s tourism sector.
Q:The number of international chain hotels is increasing in Nepal. What are your views on this?
It is a very proud moment for us that the number of international chain hotels is increasing. Marriott, Sheraton are the famous international hotels. This is a positive message for us that the international market is positive towards our country. They believe in the Nepalese economy and feel Nepal as profit centered country. With the increase in international hotel investments, we can uplift our country’s tourism industry too. After the stable government is formed tourism is now leading so increasing number of international chained hotel is a positive message for us.
Q: Standard hotels of Nepal are only limited in Pokhara, Kathmandu, Chitwan and Lumbini. What should be done to increase the number of standard hotels besides these places?
The main priority of our 7 states is tourism. Tourism is the only thing that can uplift the living standard of the place as well as the local people. We must be able to search the tourism potential and make plans to develop those areas. If we can attract the tourists then we can increase the local economy so we must be able to manage and create plans.
Q:How is the relation between HAN, government and other tourism sectors?
There is a very positive relation between HAN, government and other tourism sectors. We all work hand-in-hand to make the tourism of the country better. We are also working again for the standardization of the hotel according to their service.
Q:Recently, gastronomical tourism was launched as a tourism product. How is it promoted?
We had launched the recipes of 28 foods items with NRN Experience Nepal Cuisine and Culture; we have promoted those recipes to various countries across the globe with the help of Nepalese hotels established in other countries.
Q:What are your views on the current situation of hotels of Nepal?
The market of hotels is increasing in Nepal. There is a grand standard of hotels in Nepal. The quality of the hotels can meet the expectations of the tourists. We are not less than any other hotels and we are equally competitive. We have invested around 10 trillion in hotel sector. The tourists can also review our hotels through online websites. So the industry is growing and getting better.