Collection of tourist entry fee starts in Khumbu

3rd Oct, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

SOLUKHUMBU, Oct 03 : The Khumbu Pasang Lhamu rural municipality has started collecting tourist entry fee beginning October 1, revoking the trekker information management system (TIMS) card.

The rural municipality has stated that it collected tourist entry fee from 101 foreign tourists from October 1, at the rate of Rs 2000 from each tourist.

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) had been charging Rs 2,000 from each foreign tourist through the TIMS card since 11 years.

A meeting of the rural municipality executive committee on July 9 had decided to ban the TIMS card system and itself raise tourist entry fee, citing the NTB and TAAN failed to carry out any tourism promotion works in the Khumbu region despite collecting the fee.

A TIMS card check post at Monjo has been removed from October 1, based on the decision f the rural municipality's executive committee.

A tourism entrepreneur Namgel Sherpa said the tourists have been overcharged with this decision of the rural municipality executive committee. He argued that a tourist had to pay total Rs 5,399 in the past whereas now he/she has to pay Rs 7,399 after the imposition of the tourist entry fee by the rural municipality.

Tourism entrepreneurs are of the view that the tourism sector would be hit by the rural municipality's this decision in the context of the NTB and TAAN given the responsibility of distributing the TIMS card.

TAAN general secretary Karna Lama said this immature decision of the rural municipality would ultimately have negative consequences to the rural municipality itself. He called for immediate correction of the decision.

Rural municipality chairman Ngim Dorji Sherpa however argued that they determined the tourist entry fee in exercise of their constitutional right.