KATHMANDU, Nov 18: Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) has underscored the need to strike a balance between conservation and development in mountain areas of the country.
Presenting a paper on 'Adventure Tourism in Nepal: Challenges and Opportunities' at the International Conference of Mountain Tourism, Climate Change and Nepal Earthquakes held in Kathmandu on Friday, Tek B Mahat, the CEO of TAAN, said shortening of trekking trails due to road construction has emerged as a serious threat to trekking business.
"We cannot stop the pace of development. But we can minimize the impact of development activities on our fragile mountain environment.
Concerted efforts of all stakeholders are needed to strike a perfect balance between conservation and development," he said.
"Construction of roads has shortened many trekking trails, including the popular Upper Mustang Trail and the Annapurna Circuit Trail. These treks, which used to take more than two weeks in the past, can now be completed in less than a week," he added.
He also pointed out climate change, migration of skilled workforce, cultural and environmental degradation, natural disasters, cheaper packages offered by neighboring destinations, illegal operation by unauthorized groups and unplanned urbanization were the major threats to adventure tourism in Nepal.