New industries have come up in an area already known as an industrial strip (Jagadamba Steel, Ruslan Vodka, Warsteiner Beer, Hulas Auto Craft, Panchakanya Steels, Brij Cement, etc), which means hotel accommodation is in high demand. Not only are conferences and major events of the companies held at these hotels, but increasingly, social functions like weddings and guniu-choli.
“I am quite impressed by the growing affluence of this area. We are seeing many repeat customers, which means that the domestic market here can afford luxury hospitality, and has developed a taste for it,” says Brett Model, general manager of Tiger Palace Resort. “We hope that our success will attract more foreign investment in the hospitality industry here.”
With its proximity to the border, the resort also attracts Indian customers, who may not be particularly interested in Lumbini. Strict restrictions on alcohol and gambling in India have made Tiger Palace a draw, and there are many who come in for a few hours and go back before the border curfew at 9PM.
Indian families enjoy weekend getaways, and every so often there is a destination wedding, with the entire marriage party camping out at the hotel for a few days for all the ceremonies. Tiger Palace has already hosted a dozen such weddings, with customers coming in from as far as Delhi, Mumbai and Kanpur for a luxury ‘foreign wedding’.