TAAN organized interaction program criticizing the increasing fee of conservation area

26th Oct, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Oct 26:Tourism entrepreneurs have criticized the decision of government in increasing the entrance fees of Annapurna, Manaslu and Gaurishankar conservation area. In the meeting organized by Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Tourism labors on Thursday, the tourism entrepreneurs highly criticized the step taken by the government.

More than 40 members, representing different tourism associations, tourism organizations of political parties along with TAAN Executive Members were present in the meeting in both days.

TAAN President Mr. Nava Raj Dahal chaired the meeting and voiced on current problems and challenges faced by trekking sector in particular and tourism sector in general. Speaking in the meeting, President Dahal utter on charging entrance fee by Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality by abolishing TIMS check post and also local hotel committee of Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality charging the tourists up to Rs. 500 to 700 per tourist every night for living in the hotel.

Expressing the visits and requests of TAAN to Ministries, Dahal said “Our demands and requests has been presented to Ministers but it has not been effectively implemented.”. As per the direction given by Department of Tourism, TAAN has published a circular to trek through registered trekking company by taking guide and porter, but President Dahal was disappointed that “No trekking without guide and porter” was not implemented effectively and asserted upon illegal trekking operation. “We all organizations together need to take initiation to secure declining stage of Nepal’s tourism in upcoming days and aim to uplift qualitative tourism.” He added.

In the interaction program they urged the members of Trekkers’’ Information Management System to do effective investigation of the hotels who are charging high fees to the costumers and organizing trekking in the area without permission. They also requested to the Tourist search, rescue, and treatment and investigating committee of 2075 to look after this issue.

TAAN Past President Mr. Deepak Mahat, also President of National Tourism Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal opposed on pricing entrance fee and lodging fee by Rural Municipality themselves. He agreed on government increasing permit fees but was balked with the decision made without prior notice and indecisive policies. Speaking about TIMS, he endeavored for effective implementation of TIMS as it ensures the safety and security of trekkers, control illegal trekking operation and also generates employment opportunity.
President of  Nepal National Tourism Entrepreneurs’ Association Mr. Madan Acharya suggested TAAN to revised MoU between TAAN and NTB regarding TIMS. He highlighted on controlling and lowering down practices of illegal trekking operation through effective implementation of TIMs.
Speaking in the meeting, TAAN former General Secretary Mr. Sagar Pandey enunciated on “Add up value” to business by explaining the benefits to trekkers for taking guides or porters with them. “We must make trekking a secured employment concerning employees well-being, facilities and so on.” He added.

TAAN Past President Mr. Sita Ram Sapkota, also President of Tourism Entrepreneur’s Association - Nepal called upon implementing the increased permit fee from next year or next touristic season. He emphasized on cart offing restricted areas that will result on increasing a greater number of trekkers.

Gopal Shrestha, Media Coordinator of TAAN, said that the meeting will be organized between Tourism Minister and Tourism Secretary to resolve the issues of tourism industry.

Representatives from different tourism industries like Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), Society of Travel and Tour Operator Nepal (SOTTO), Village Tourism Promotion Forum Nepal (VITOF), Hotel Association Nepal (HAN), JAT- Nepal, Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), Gurung Tourism Entrepreneurs’ Association of Nepal (GTEAN), Nepal Association of Travel and Tour Agents (NATTA), Nepal Yog Association, Nepal Association of  Rafting Agencies, Restaurant and Bar Association of Nepal (REBAN) were present in the meeting.