Foreigners will have to hire at least a guide or a porter while visiting different trekking areas of Nepal from the coming autumn season.
Government officials on Friday said they would strictly enforce the new provision to ensure safety of trekkers.
Speaking at a program organized in Kathmandu to unveil trail assessment report of Everest Region prepared by Miyamoto International, Tourism Secretary Suresh Man Shrestha said trekkers now onwards must be accompanied by a guide or a porter.
Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) has long been demanding the government to enforce ‘no trekking without guide or porter’ system for the safety of tourists.
“It is very necessary to assure safety of tourists. We are taking a policy decision next week to prohibit independent trekking,” Tusli Gautam, director of Department of Tourism, said, adding that every individual trekker must now hire a guide or a porter. “We are taking the decision considering the safety of tourists. If tourists are accompanied by guide or porter, it will be easier to locate them in case need for rescue arises.”
According to Gautam, the new decision will also create new jobs and also increase tourist’s spending.
Government officials also said the new decision will make trekking companies more responsible. They will have to take responsibility of their clients and furnish proper database to the government, they said.
Sagar Pandey, general secretary of TAAN, welcomed the decision and said his association had been lobbying for ‘no trekking without guide or porter’ system since long. “Now trekking companies must assure the government that they will keep proper database of trekkers and guides and porters accompanying them. It will be of great help during emergencies,” he added.
Pandey also said that the decision will benefit the industry greatly as it helps to create new jobs.