KATHMANDU, Nepal- A government body is mulling over constructing a five-star airport hotel next to the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) aiming to facilitate the tourists visiting Nepal.
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN ), the government body that regulates the air services in the country has submitted a proposal to the government for constructing a five-star airport hotel under the built-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) modality on its land plot in Sinamangal located next to the TIA in Kathmandu.
CAAN officials said the move is intended to make commercial use of its 116-ropany land plot which has been underutilised despite being located in the city’s prime area. They said it is objectively aimed at facilitating tourism and offering accommodation to travellers landing at and departing from the TIA, the only international airport in the country.
The land plot currently houses the CAAN ’s TIA Improvement Project Office, and an Armed Police Force (APF) unit.
According to the Nepal Tourism Board, which is facilitating the CAAN’s project, works on the project would begin once the Finance Ministry gives positive response to the proposal.
“The proposal was forwarded to the Finance Ministry some six months ago, but,” the NTB official said off the record, “the Finance Ministry has not responded to the proposal yet.”
The officials said the concept to build an airport hotel under the public private partnership model can create more value for Nepal’s fast-growing tourism industry and it could be a big source of revenue for the government. “Besides, there is also a need for an international standard airport hotel.”
CAAN officials said as soon as the government approves the plan, they would issue a letter of intent (LoI) for prospective developers. With domestic and inter-regional tourism aiding to hotel demand, a range of leading global hotel chains have planned their entry into Nepal.
The project is likely to come in line with other big hotel projects of non-resident Nepali Shesh Ghale who is building a five-star hotel in Kathmandu. The property will be known as the Sheraton Kathmandu Hotel. Ghale’s MIT Group Holding Nepal recently signed an agreement with Starwood Hotels and Resort Worldwide Inc and set the project rolling. Slated to open in February 2018, the 225-room Sheraton Kathmandu Hotel will be managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Also, Nepal Hospitality Group (NHG) signed a management agreement with a subsidiary of Marriott International to open a four-star property named Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu. The international brand Marriott will look after the management of the Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu. The NHG is a group company of the MS Group, one of Nepal’s leading business conglomerates. At present, there are 10 five-star hotels in Nepal—eight in Kathmandu and two in Pokhara. The average annual occupancy rate of these five star properties stands at around 65 percent. These properties produce 641,670 room nights annually. Nepal welcomed 803,092 visitors last year.