In 2024, a dozen additional five-star hotels are set to operate in Nepal, marking an enthusiastic outlook for the hospitality industry. Approximately NPR 35 billion will be invested in these hotels, equipping them with more than 1,500 rooms. Entrepreneurs anticipate these establishments will contribute to boosting tourism within the country.
Recently, internationally renowned hotel chains have shown keen interest in investing in Nepal. Many discussions are underway regarding the management of hotels and resorts, with international hotel chain companies taking part. Beyond competition among hotel operators, there is a growing trend of collaboration with global brands to leverage their worldwide network and attract more tourists to Nepal.
While the manufacturing sector struggles to attract new investments, the hotel industry is witnessing substantial capital inflow. With around 25 lakh tourists expected to visit hotels in operation and under construction in 2024, entrepreneurs like Vasant Mishra believe this investment will greatly contribute to the tourism sector. Currently, five-star hotels are being constructed in various locations, including Kathmandu, Jhapa, Biratnagar, Itahari, Chitwan, Pokhara, Butwal, and Bhairahawa.
Some significant hotels that began construction post-2015 earthquake are also expected to commence operations in 2024. Shankar Group’s Hilton Kathmandu Hotel, with an estimated investment of NPR 6.85 billion, is set to operate with 175 rooms and a 17th-floor swimming pool. The earthquake-affected Crowne Plaza Hotel by InterContinental Hotel Group is also under construction and is expected to operate in 2024.
The positive prospects in tourism have encouraged foreign brands to invest in Nepal. Vinayak Shah, President of Hotel Association Nepal, expresses confidence in attracting international chains. He emphasizes the hospitality industry’s potential to serve a global clientele, aiming to provide services to 25-30 lakh tourists annually.
Solti Hotel was the first to bring an overseas brand to Nepal over a decade ago. Currently, international brands such as Hayat Residency, Marriott, Fairfield Marriott, Radisson, Taj Safari, Taj Bhaktapur, Hyatt Place, Aloft, The Fern, Holiday Inn Express, and Holiday Inn operate in the country. Arun Chaudhary has initiated the construction of the Crowne Plaza hotel in Pulchowk, following the departure of the iconic InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) from Soltee.
Most hotels currently under construction are associated with international brands. Sheraton, Accor (Ibis Group), Hilton, Saint Regis, Ramada, Le Meridien, Royal Tulip, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Moxie, InterContinental Hotel and Resort, Hotel Indigo, and Holiday Inn Express are among the global brands preparing to enter the Nepalese market.
The Hilton Kathmandu Hotel by Shankar Group, started before the earthquake, is expected to be fully operational from July 2024. With an investment estimate of NPR 6.85 billion, this hotel is set to have 175 rooms and a 17th-floor swimming pool. French group Lubrano Hotels’ Royal Tulip brand will manage the resort under construction in Chitwan. The estimated investment for this 64-room resort on 34 acres of land is NPR 85 crore.
In Budhanilkantha, Heritage Prali constructed the first ‘Lemon Tree Premier’ hotel, which started operations on January 1, 2024. Spanning 12 acres, the nine-story building will house 152 rooms with an investment of NPR 1.6 billion. Lemon Tree Premier is a part of the world’s largest mid-scale hotel group, Lemon Tree Hotels.
Another hotel, ‘Forest Inn,’ constructed by Congress leader Deepak Khadka in Budhanilkantha, is preparing for a soft launch. This hotel, managed by the international chain InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), will feature three types of rooms in its 100-room facility, with an estimated investment of NPR 1.6 billion.
Congress leader Deepak Khadka is also overseeing the construction of another five-star hotel in Itahari, targeting operational status within the next fiscal year. This hotel, ‘Holiday Inn’ by Windham Hotels, will have 80 rooms in its eight stories.
The apartment project constructed by the Gun Group in Gwarko is being transformed into a hotel. The interior work of the hotel is currently in progress, as mentioned by the hotel’s management director, Deepesh Shakya. He stated, “The structural construction is completed, and currently, finishing, furnishing, lighting, and similar works are ongoing. The goal is to bring the hotel into operation by December 2024, within a 17 ropani (approximately 8.5 acres) area, featuring three buildings with a total of 302 rooms. The estimated investment for the hotel’s operation is around 6.5 billion Nepalese Rupees.”
Sanchuriyan Group, led by former minister and entrepreneur Motilal Dugad, has undertaken the construction of a five-star hotel with a spa in Biratnagar. Dugad confirmed the completion of the structural construction of the hotel and mentioned that finishing work is currently underway. The target is to commence hotel operations by December 2024, with an expected investment of over 6 billion Nepalese Rupees.
In Viratnagar, a hotel spanning 2.5 bighas of land with three towers dedicated to the hotel, mall, and casino is under construction. Dugad estimated an investment of approximately 3.5 billion Nepalese Rupees for the hotel’s operation. This will be the first five-star hotel in the Viratnagar area, managed by the international hotel brand Radisson.
Similarly, in the popular tourist destination Bandipur, five hotels are under construction. The “Queen Tower” hotel, with 82 rooms across 17 floors, is in its final stages of construction. According to Ramchandra Sharma, the Chairman of Bandipur Cable Car and Tourism Limited, 90% of the work is completed, and they aim to start operations from January 2022.
In the Bhairahawa area on the Lumbini Road, a “Holiday Inn” hotel is expected to start operations by 2024. The hotel will have more than 125 rooms, and the estimated investment for its operation is over 1 billion Nepalese Rupees. The hotel will be managed by the international chain hotel IHG’s mid-scale brand, Holiday Inn.
Additionally, in Butwal, five hotels are expected to start operations by 2024, marking the first five-star hotels in the city. Construction work has also been completed on a 12-story building in Sukkhanagar, which is estimated to have an investment exceeding 2.5 billion Nepalese Rupees and will feature 108 rooms.
These developments signify a vibrant future for Nepal’s hospitality industry, attracting significant investments and fostering collaboration with global hotel chains. As these hotels become operational, they are expected to contribute significantly to the growth of the country’s tourism sector.