5 Mar 2023 Peak Climbing Nepal
No more solo trekking permits! We inform all foreign tourists who are about to visit Nepal for trekking to the majestic mountains Nepal Government has strictly prohibited any such tourists from traveling alone. The decision was made by the board meeting held by the Tourism Board on Thursday, March 2, 2023. After the board meeting, a new decision or rule was made that tourists going for a trek in any mountains or circuit must have at least one professional guide.
According to the vice president of the Tourism Board, Respected Chandra Rizal, many foreign tourists got injured during the trial because of solo hiking. Furthermore, as they go alone, they can also not seek help, and the cases of death have increased. Therefore, Nepal Government’s Tourism Board has decided not to let foreign tourists alone by keeping their safety and well-being concerned.
Even though the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAN) and the Joint Tourism Trade Union Forum (JOTUF) had decided to close Free Individual Trekker (FIT) on October 1, 2022, the decision was delayed due to several reasons. However, per the sources, this decision will be strictly effective from April 1, 2023.
Any tourist willing to go for the trek could acquire a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System) card, which also acts as a permit for the trek by themselves. However, per the recent decision, only foreign tourists with a professional guide can receive this card.
Along with implementing this decision, there are slight changes in the cost of the TIMS card. Previously, two types of TIMS cards could be acquired: one for the group trekkers, which cost NPR 1000/- and one for the solo Trekker or FIT (Free individual Trekker), which cost NPR 2000/-. However, the FIT card no longer exists, and the group trekkers card cost has been raised to NPR 2000/-.
If you need help determining where to get the TIMS card, you can acquire one from the TIMS Counter at NTB Head Office in Pokhara. You can expect the rest of the assistance from the guides there to help you throughout your journey to Nepal.
Why was the decision made?
As mentioned earlier, the decision was made because many foreign tourists started getting injured and also lost their lives while trekking the rugged terrain alone.
Before making the decision, Tourism Board had conducted research that resulted in a high graph of tourists getting injured or dying because of solo trekking or trekking without a professional guide.
The tourism board director, Mr. Manraj Lamichhane, said that the decision was made for the safety and benefit of foreigners who want to trek in the Himalayas of Nepal.
Furthermore, according to the first vice-president of TAAN, Lamsal.Rana Bahadur Khadka, the board, and the Nepal Government had to think about this deeply after the death of a Belgian trekker in Langtang National Park, as all these incidents made Nepali Tourism Board to make proper agendas and security policies to reduce such incidents in upcoming future.
Therefore, to regain its prestige and ensure the safety of foreign tourists, Nepal Government has decided to ban any tourists from trekking alone without a professional guide. Also, note that even if you have a group of friends, you still need a guide for further permissions.
See also: Trekking Peak (Without Permit)