Beijing: Chinese investors seem more attracted to Nepal’s hotel and tourism sector despite the fact that the industry has been badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Himalayan Nation.

Their mysterious involvement makes one doubtful about Beijing’s intentions.

Chinese businessmen have invested in more than 400 hotels and restaurants in tourist hubs including Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kaski, and Chitwan, Khabar Hub reported.

Chinese traders have invested in more than 50 restaurants and other businesses in Pokhara alone.

Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) officials complain that the Chinese trend of doing business in Nepal without paying taxes to the government and making payments through an online system by booking the desired rooms has added to the problems of the tourism industry, Khabar Hub reported.

It is reported that Transactions made through WeChat, and Ali Pay are not transparent.

It seems Chinese investment will increase through small projects in areas where there is little potential in Nepal.

The hotel business has been the victim of unhealthy competition. However, according to the Tourism Act, guest houses such as hotels and lodges must obtain permission from the Department of Tourism to accommodate foreign tourists and trade in foreign currency, as per Khabar Hub.

Nepal has to be aware of the Chinese intention behind Beijing’s heavy investment. Tourism businessmen admit that the Chinese tourists share in Nepal is now over 15 per cent.

Apart from the Kathmandu Valley, Chinese nationals who have entered Nepal as tourists or as investors have started to lodge foreign tourists in Chitwan and Lumbini by investing in lodges and private houses, apartments, and flats, without seeking due permission from the tourism department.

The Chinese companies, which are not registered with any authority and have not taken any tax liability, have been providing not only hotel booking services but also keeping tourists at home, apartments and flats. This is related to tax evasion, Khabar Hub reported.

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