Minimum requirements relaxed for star hotels outside ValleyThe government has relaxed requirements for the construction of star hotels outside the Kathmandu Valley in a bid to spread out tourism.
The government has relaxed requirements for the construction of star hotels outside the Kathmandu Valley in a bid to spread out tourism.
The minimum number of rooms one- to five-star hotels are required to have has been reduced as per the regulation recently amended by the Department of Tourism. As per the new provision, a five-star hotel can be opened outside the Valley with 80 rooms. Earlier, the minimum was 100 rooms.
Similarly, four- and three-star hotels need to have 60 and 45 rooms respectively, down from 80 and 60 rooms previously. Two- and one-star hotels are required to have 30 and 15 rooms compared to 40 and 20 rooms before. The rules, however, remain unchanged for hotels inside the Valley.
“The new regulation, which was published in the Nepal Gazette on December 12, is aimed at making it easier to construct star hotels outside the Valley,” said Rajesh Kumar Lamsal, an officer at the hotel division of the department.
According to him, the amended regulation has also dropped the parking space requirement for hotels located in areas without motorable roads. Likewise, four- and five-star hotels in the mountain region will not be required to build swimming pools. However, all hotels are required to have a well-managed garden.
In October 2013, the Tourism Ministry amended the three-decade-old hotel and resort regulation and issued new regulatory orders aimed at incorporating changes that have taken place in the hotel industry. The orders, which were published in the Nepal Gazette on October 21, 2013 superseded the Hotel, Lodge, Restaurant, Bar and Tourist Guide Regulation 1981. They required hoteliers to apply the latest technology and offer environment-friendly facilities.
The orders had given the existing hotels five years to upgrade their facilities. As per the provision, a five-star hotel room should have an area of at least 250 square feet and have an attached bathroom. Likewise, 15 percent of the beds have to be king- or queen-sized.
The lobby has to accommodate at least 100 people and possess earthquake protection system. The number of vehicle parking spaces should not be less than 25 percent of the number of rooms in the hotel. Likewise, all managers of the hotel have to possess at least a diploma in hotel management.
With regard to four-star hotels, they should have at least 80 rooms, all with attached bathrooms. Each room should not be smaller than 230 square feet.
Air conditioning, CCTV system, conference hall, swimming pool, health club, fitness centre, sauna bath, sports facilities and coffee shops have been made mandatory for four-star properties. Meanwhile, 80 percent of the managers should possess a diploma in hotel management.
Likewise, three-star hotels should have at least 60 rooms, each not smaller than 196 square feet. All rooms should be equipped with air conditioning.
The orders had made it mandatory for two-star properties to have 40 rooms, each no smaller than 169 square feet, with attached bathrooms. They should have facilities like wi-fi, CCTV and parking space for at least 10 vehicles. Similarly, a one-star hotel should have 20 rooms each no smaller than 169 square feet.
The department said that hotels have less than a year left to comply with the mandatory orders. It said that hotels would be checked if they have fulfilled the requirements when their licences come up for renewal. Hotels are required to renew their permit every five years.