Bardia hotels lay off staffersTourism entrepreneurs have begun to lay off staff as tourist arrivals and revenue flows have shrunk due to the strikes being held across the country in protest against varied provisions in the proposed constitution.
Tourism entrepreneurs have begun to lay off staff as tourist arrivals and revenue flows have shrunk due to the strikes being held across the country in protest against varied provisions in the proposed constitution.
Around two dozen hotels and resorts ring Bardia National Park, one of the most sought after wildlife destinations in the Mid-Western Development Region.
With the number of safari goers dropping sharply in recent weeks, these hotels said they have had to send home around 95 percent of their employees.
Due to the ongoing strike, international tourists have cancelled their bookings while the flow of domestic tourists has stopped as transportation has been crippled.
Tourism entrepreneurs who started their businesses by acquiring loans from financial institutions have been hit the hardest. “Apart from the security guards, I have approved holidays for all the staff,” said Ramji Thapa, operator of Bardia Tiger Resort.
Apart from the hotel employees, performers who used to earn money by putting on Tharu cultural programmes for the tourists too have become jobless. These dance troupes charge from Rs4,000 to Rs5,000 for a two-hour performance.
The number of tourists visiting the national park too has decreased. “The national park is deserted. The flow of local and foreign tourists has stopped completely due to the uncertainty of transportation,” said Purushottam Sharma, deputy conservation official at the national park.
The ongoing strikes have compounded the troubles of tourism entrepreneurs as their business had already been severely hurt by the April 25 earthquake.
“This is peak time for bookings for the upcoming winter season,” said Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, president of the Parya Tourism Development Forum, Bardia.
Home stays operated by the Tharu community too have been hurt. In the past, these home stays used to get 100-200 tourists as guests daily. The strikes have made a large number of people jobless and compelled them to return home.