Make guides or porters mandatory for trekkers, TAAN requests govt

Published On: November 5, 2018 09:16 AM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, Nov 5: Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) along with Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Department of Tourism (DoT) has requested the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to make it mandatory for trekkers to take at least a guide or porter with them.

In a meeting with Tourism Secretary Krishna Prasad Devkota at the ministry on Friday, they demanded that the government make a policy decision to this effect for controlling illegal operation of trekking business and ensuring that free individual trekkers do not face any difficulty.

Speaking in the meeting, TAAN President Nava Raj Dahal emphasized on strict implementation of Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) to control illegal trekking operation of trekking business and to ensure safety and security of trekkers. "TIMS should be implemented in every trekking area of the country. Unfortunately, it is being effectively implemented only in the Annapurna region," Dahal said in the meeting.

He further added that trekkers will feel safe and secure if a guide or porter is accompanying them. "This way, untoward incidents can be avoided," he added.

Also speaking at the program, TAAN General Secretary requested Secretary Devkota to organize a press meet and apprise international media of the benefits of taking the service of government authorized agencies and trained guides and porters for trekking trips in Nepal. "If the government fails to take any decision to discourage FITs, all trekking agencies will be forced to handover their license to the tourism ministry," he added.

NTB Board Members Krishna Aryal and Deepak Mahat as well as representatives from the Department of Tourism were also present in the program.

Responding to the demands raised by TAAN, Devkota said safety and security of trekker is of paramount importance. "I request representatives of TAAN, NTB and Department of Tourism told hold a joint meeting soon and resolve the TIMS issue," he added.

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