Nepal tourism board has issued new guidelines for trekkers. Here is what you need to knowLocal authorities in the Everest region have strongly opposed new guidelines saying that they limit the right to free movement of foreigners.
Despite the objection of the Everest region, the Nepal Tourism Board on Friday passed new guidelines for foreign trekkers, which ban foreign trekkers to visit Nepal’s national parks and conservation areas without a guide or a porter for the entire journey.
The new rules say that the government-registered trekking company will arrange the guides or the porters.
The guidelines say foreign visitors also have to obtain a trekkers' information management systems (TIMS) card before going trekking.
The new rule will come into effect from Saturday.
According to guidelines, a trekker found travelling on designated trekking trails without a guide or TIMS card faces a Rs12,000 fine.
A trekking company taking trekkers on trips without a TIMS card will be fined Rs10,000 per trekker.
Officials stationed at the check posts will receive 20 percent of the fine money for stopping illegal trekkers as a special encouragement allowance, according to the guidelines.
The guidelines say the TIMS card is not required for those holding expedition permits for climbing mountains.
Tourists visiting restricted areas with permission from the Department of Immigration do not require the card either.
Foreign visitors travelling to the mountains or restricted areas for sightseeing by helicopter are exempt too. But they need to have a TIMS card and guide if it is a one-way trip.
Trekkers below the age of 10 do not require a TIMS card but their personal information will be stored online.
Two or more than two foreigners travelling to mountain regions by two- or four-wheeler will need a guide and should possess a TIMS card.
Officials of diplomatic missions and development partners and their families will be charged Rs500 per TIMS card. It is not required if they are going on an official visit.
Trekkers from the SAARC region have to pay Rs1,000 per card and trekkers from third countries are charged Rs2,000 per card.
The guidelines contain a list of 44 trekking trails in Kanchenjunga, Makalu Barun, Everest, Rolwaling, Panchpokharai Bhairavkunda, Helambu, Langtang, Ganesh Himal-Ruby Valley, Manaslu, Annapurna, Mustang, Dhaulagiri, Dolpa and Humla where trekkers must be accompanied by a guide.
Local authorities in the Everest region have strongly opposed the new guideline saying that it limits the right to free movement of foreigners.
Here are the lists of trekking routes that need guides and TIMS cards: