The popular hill stations of Bhedetar and Hile in Dhankuta district have been attracting an increasing number of investors in the hospitality sector. In the last two years, entrepreneurs have poured more than Rs 250 million into new hotels while existing hotels are being refurbished.
Bhedetar, the gateway to the Arun valley, is becoming increasingly popular among visitors and has started to attract massive investment after suffering a huge setback during the conflict years. A view tower, picnic spots and stunning landscapes make Bhedetar an attractive destination for holidaymakers. More than 12 new hotels have been constructed in Bhedetar in the last two years.
Tourism entrepreneurs said that more than Rs 130 million has been invested in hotels in Bhedetar. “We have invested in hotels due to Bhedetar’s growing popularity among visitors,” said Govinda Karki, proprietor of Green Heaven Hotel. “Hotels get good returns on their investment here.”
Green Heaven has 18 rooms and was built with an investment of Rs 20 million. According to the owners, most of their guests are from Sunsari, Morang and Jhapa. Indian visitors arrive in large numbers during the summer. At present, tourist standard hotels and lodges in Bhedetar have a capacity of over 300 room nights. Jitendra Rumjhali, who built the Bhedetar View Tower with an investment of Rs 20 million, said the area lacks extensive promotion. Another three hotels—Hotel Himali, Hotel Makalu and Peace Zone Hotel—have been constructed with an investment of Rs 15 million each.
Similarly, Lauti Corner has spent Rs 10 million and Hotel Majestic has invested Rs 6.5 million. A number of new properties like the Mt Everest, Sapta Koshi, Sangam and Three Star have injected a huge amount of money in the district. Old hotels like the Tamor Valley, Arun Valley and others have been renovated. The rising number of hotels has also attracted MICE tourism to Bhedetar besides sightseers.
Meanwhile, the hill town of Hile Bazaar has also witnessed huge investments in the hospitality sector. Hile is the starting point for trekking around Kangchenjunga.
Rewat Bahadur Karki, board representative of the Nepal Tourism Board, said a new property—Horizon Mountain Guest House—would be coming soon in Hile Bazaar with an investment of Rs 30 million. The guest house will have 48 rooms.
The Hotel Kanjiroba has resumed operations with new investment. “We have invested Rs 30 million,” said proprietor Umesh Ghimire. Another two new hotels in Hile are the Hile View and Hotel Tourism which have been built with an investment of Rs 20 million each. Hotel Makalu has invested Rs 6 million.
Meanwhile, small hotels are also flourishing in Hile. “Opening of new properties has improved the standard of service and increa-sed income generating activities in Hile,” said Lalchan Gomba, president of the Dhankuta Chamber of Commerce and Industry.