If you were planning on going on a solo trek to Nepal, then your schedule is slumped. Yes, planning on a solo trip to Nepal for adventure will be in vain since there has been a passing of law citing that only International Tourists can opt to trek with a guide.
On Thursday, March 2, 2023, Nepal Tourism Board held a board meeting and came up with a decision citing that only foreign trekkers will be allowed to travel with a guide in Nepal. As per the Vice President of the board, Chandra Rizal, the Tourism Board decided to minify the previous designation for trekking since there has been an increase in the number of trekkers falling and getting injured during their solo hikes. As a result, trekkers are prone to get lost and not getting rescue services and support. The main objective of this law is to protect those who wish to travel to Nepal safely.
Rizal added, "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."
He also mentioned that this agreement would be helpful for the rescue and evacuation services so that missing, injured, and sick tourists will not be missed in the remote areas of Nepal.
The law will come into action from April 1, 2023. FIT (Free Individual Trekker) was scheduled to be closed on October 1, 2022; however, the initiatives had yet to come into effect. Nevertheless, the Joint Tourism Trade Union Forum (JOTUF) and the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) came together to implement the law, which will be effective within no time.
JOTUF had been speaking up to prevent offering TIMS Cards to solo trekkers since long ago. They said that only Nepali companies should guide foreign travelers in Nepal, which has yet to be successful. This means any foreigners visiting destinations like EBC, ABC, Manaslu, or any part of Nepal; should go through the travel agency to proceed.
As per the agreement, the FIT (Free Individual Trekker) Card will be closed from April 1, 2023, and the Tourism Board will focus more on the safety, rescue, and management of tourists in Nepal.
Apart from the FIT Card's closing, the TIMS Card (Trekkers' Information Management Systems) cost has plateaued. Now, the price of a TIMS card has become more expensive than before. Previously, the board charged only 600 Nepali Rupees to SAARC countries trekkers. This marks a change in price for both SAARC and non-SAARC countries. The deal cites that the hikers from SAARC Nation should pay Rs. 1000 for TIMS cards, while non-SAARC nations should pay Rs. 2000 to get the permit.
Any traveler should acknowledge that they can not travel solo in Nepal from April 1 onwards. And it is compulsory to hire a guide and go through a trekking company in Nepal before embarking on any trek. Please get in touch with us for further information regarding trekking in Nepal.
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