The year 2020 was supposed to be a big year for Nepali tourism with the ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ set in motion to attract 2 million foreign tourists.
Expecting a high influx of foreign guests, hotels across the nation started renovating their properties to reap the bonanza.
But the coronavirus pandemic has clobbered the Nepali hotel industry. Within a few weeks, the tourism got evaporated, hotels got shuttered and employees received unpaid holidays.
However, in the happy turn of events, the Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) and three major trade unions in the tourism and hospitality sector have unveiled a uniform pay-out structure on July 19, nearly after four months of lockdown.
According to the agreement, all the staff members, from front office workers to general managers, will get the same pay. The new payment structure is applicable from April 13 to December 31, 2020.
“Everyone will get equal salaries without working and sitting at home. Though unpopular, the move is to avoid layoffs,” said Binayak Shah, Vice-President of the HAN. “We will review the pay based on the situation further.”
The monthly salary details are as follows-
Meanwhile, the employees of one-star and tourist standard hotels will get salaries based on mutual understanding with their employers.
Earlier in May, the hotels had decided to cut their losses by remaining closed for six months, as there is no scope of tourism visits to Nepal for at least another year.
“Even if the lockdown is lifted, the tourism industry will take time to recover because travelers will not immediately book foreign trips. The hotels will all be bankrupt by the time tourism rebounds as they have to pay staff salaries while income has come down to zero,” said Shah.