Rs 44 million raised in tourist entrance fees by Khumbu Rural Municipality
27th Dec, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew
SOLUKHUMBU, Dec 27: Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality has collected Rs 44 million in tourist entry fees since the beginning of October this year.
The rural municipality has been charging Rs 2,000 per visitor. A total 22,358 tourists entered the rural municipality in the past two and half months, said Information Officer of the municipality, Lakpa Chiri Sherpa.
Khumbu Rural Municipality collected Rs 28.25 million from 14,100 tourists in October, Rs 13.35 million from 6,676 in November, and Rs 3.1 million from 1,554 tourists in December.
Although the tourist season is wrapping up, tourists are still entering the rural municipality at a constant rate, which hovers around 100 per day.
Despite local entrepreneurs’ strong opposition to the collection of entry fee, the officials have been collecting the fee. They do not even recognize the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card issued by the Department of Tourism (DoT) and the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN).
“The rural municipality has mobilized its rights to collect and allocate tourist revenue as suggested in the constitution, as the funds collected previously were not used for tourism development of the region,” said Nim Dorje Sherpa, chairperson of Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality. Sherpa informed Republica that the funds now collected will be used for the tourism promotion of the rural municipality.
The officials are seeking to make use of this fund to prioritize tourism promotion in the region. The amount collected is set to be used to improve and construct roads between Lukla and the Everest Base Camp along with increasing tourist infrastructure in the region.