TAAN urges Gandaki State government not to charge trekking fees to tourists

23rd Jul, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, July 23: Tourism entrepreneurs have urged the state government of Gandaki State to cancel the hefty fees that have been set for tourists wanting to go trekking in the region. There have been complaints regarding this decision by the government of Gandaki State as businesses believe that the fees will be detremential to the central government's goal of bringing in 2 million tourists to the country by 2020.

The new fees system set by Gandaki government has been started with the beginning of the new fiscal year. With this system, tourists will have to pay fees at every local level in order to trek in the region. Tourism entrepreneurs have expressed dissatisfaction with the scheme complaining that this would make tourists' visits more expensive.

The state government has set the fees for tourists from SAARC countries at $5 and for tourists from other countries, it has been set at 10$. The Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal- Western Regional Association Pokhara has also demanded that the fees not be charged to trekking tourists. TAAN Pokhara President Deepak Raj Adhikari said that the system, which has been put in place without discussion with the tourism entrepreneurs, would be detrimental to the tourism sector as a whole.

Adhikari informed that trekking across the Annapurna circuit, foreign tourists have to cross at least 5 local levels, and which may increase according to the trekkers' individual routes. Trekkers have to walk through a large number of local levels of administration on their route, and having to pay entry fees at all of these levels would end up being very costly for tourists.

TAAN Pokhara has submitted a request letter to Gandaki State Chief Minister Prithivi Subba Gurung, and Minister of Economic Matters, Kiran Gurung, requesting not to execute the new fees system. CM Prithivi Gurung has expressed a commitment to discuss on this issue. He has said that he will conduct study on this issue and not take any action which would be harmful to the tourism sector. CM Gurung also suggested that fees can be charged through a single medium for simplification.