From now on, foreign nationals visiting Nepal cannot trek alone. The board meeting of the Nepal Tourism Board held on Thursday decided that no foreign nationals would be allowed to travel freely. According to the decision, it is mandatory to take a trekking guide for tourists going on a trek.
Before this, foreign tourists could trek on their own accord by purchasing the Tourist Information Management System (TIMS) card distributed by the Nepal Tourism Board. The Nepal Tourism Board has decided that no foreigner can trek alone.
Chandra Rizal, vice president of the board, said that the board meeting decided not to go on voluntary hikes due to the increase in the number of tourists who fall and get injured while hiking alone. They have difficulty being rescued, get lost, and die. " This decision will help to rescue effectively missing injured and sick tourists. "Tourists are protected," Rizal said, adding, "We have taken this decision because Nepal has become infamous at the international level due to the deaths of tourists who went of their own accord."
The decision will be effective from April 1. It was decided to close FIT (Free Individual Trekker) on October 1, 2022, but the board did not implement it.
The decision will be effective from April 1. It was decided to close FIT (Free Individual Trekker) on October 1, 2022, but the board did not implement it. However, to implement this decision, the Board, the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAN), and the Joint Tourism Trade Union Forum (JOTUF), a joint forum of tourism workers working in the tourism sector, agreed to implement it. President Ram Kazi Prayas of the Tourism Workers Association (NITOG) said.
JOTUF, a joint forum of associations with workers in the tourism field, has been raising the demand with the concerned authorities to prevent providing TIMS cards to individual hikers. They demanded that foreigners going to trek should only be guided by a Nepali company.
After this board decision, foreign tourists visiting Nepal now have to go on a trek through the company. "In the discussions between the Nepal Tourism Board, TAN, and tourism workers regarding the issue of FIT (Free Individual Trekker) Teams issued by the board to trekkers, it has been agreed to close them from April 1, 2023, keeping in mind the safety, rescue, and management of tourists," the agreement said.
Similarly, the TIMS fee charged by the board has also been increased. Tourists from SAARC countries have grown to Nrs 1000 from the previous Nrs. 600. Similarly, non-SAARC tourists must pay Rs 2,000 for the TIMS fee while travelling individually.
In the memorandum of understanding signed, it has been agreed that the single hiker will compulsorily take a guide and the required amount of workers through the trekking company, effective April 1, 2023.