Govt reluctant to renew contract of hotels, resorts inside CNP
The government is reluctant to renew the lease contract of hotels and resorts inside the Chitwan National Park (CNP) and has now directed them to relocate their business outside the park.
The lease agreement between the hotels and resorts and Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) ended on July 16.
Though Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation has asked the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation to renew the ease contract of hotels and lodges inside CNP, the latter has not shown interest to renew the contract.
On the other hand, hotel owners in Sauraha have warned of shutting down their businesses if the government renewed the contracts.
They have backed the Forest Ministry’s decision to relocate hotels and resorts inside the national park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Likewise, environmentalists have also claimed that the hotels and lodges inside the national park were hampering the bio-diversity.
There are six hotels in CNP - Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge, Safari Narayani Hotel, Chitwan Jungle Lodge, Machan Wildlife Resort, Island Jungle Resort and Temple Tiger Jungle Lodge.
However, the tourism entrepreneurs and hoteliers including HAN have been lobbying for the renewal of lease contract citing the hotels and resorts inside the park have played significant role in attracting tourists in the area.
According to them, 3,000 people are directly employed by the resorts and hotels while some 100,000 people are indirectly involved in the business.
The investment in the hotels inside CNP is around 2 billion and they pay Rs. 200 million as royalty, Nature Trust of Conservation fee, entrance fee, VAT and income tax to the government, entrepreneurs in favour of hotels and lodges inside park said.
The government had also extended the contract by three year in 2009 keeping in view of Nepal Tourism Year 2011. The hotels and resorts also remained closed for some seventh months after expire of their contract. nepalnews.com