Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation is preparing to study room occupancy rates of the three-star hotels across the country.
"We will start to collect information from 25 registered three star hotels at the ministry from across the country in a fortnight," said under secretary at the ministry Rabi Kayastha.
"The study — that is expected to take around a month — will in future, help prepare a data base for Tourism Satellite Account," he said, adding that the contribution of tourism to the total gross domestic product (GDP) has not been correctly calculated in the absence of Tourism Satellite Account, though tourism sector is not only one of the highest foreign currency earners but also one of the largest employers.
The ministry has started to collect the primary information that could in future help prepare Tourism Satellite Account, Kayastha said, adding that the ministry has recently collected the room occupancy rate of the five-star hotels across the country.
According to the Hotel Occupancy Rate Indicator prepared by the ministry, of the total 10 five-star hotels — eight in the Valley and two in Pokhara — there are 641,670 total available rooms and some 395,459 rooms were occupied in 2011. "The total occupancy rate last year stood at 61.63 per cent," it revealed, adding that in the valley the occupancy rate stood at 66.11 per cent, whereas in Pokhara the occupancy rate stood at 38.27 per cent."
Similarly, of the 538,375 total rooms available in the Valley, some 355,925 rooms were occupied, whereas in Pokhara, of the 103,295 rooms available only 39,534 were occupied in 2011, when the country was celebrating Nepal Tourism Year 2011.
"The month of November was the peak season, whereas July was the lean season, according to the study that was conducted with the help of Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN)."
The month of November last year witnessed the highest occupancy in the five star hotels at 85.96 per cent, whereas the month of July saw the lowest occupancy at 47.57 per cent," it reported. "Similarly, the eight five-star hotels in the Valley also saw the highest occupancy in November at 89.81 per cent and the lowest in July at 51.34 per cent.
The five-star hotels in Pokhara also witnessed the highest occupancy in November at 65.92 per cent and the lowest in July at 27.96 per cent.""In the first phase, the ministry has studied only the five-star hotels' occupancy rates and in the second phase, it is working on three-star hotels, Kayastha said, adding that the study of the five-star hotels also revealed the room occupancy rate against the tourist arrivals.
The tourist arrivals touched the highest in October (96,970), November (83427) and August (71,378) in 2011, whereas the highest occupancy rate has been registered in November (85.96 per cent) followed by October (77.43 per cent) and April (67.73 per cent), according to the report.