The Department of Tourism (DoT) has collected Rs 313 million in expedition royalty till date.

According to the department, 45 teams comprising 389 members have received expedition permits for 10 mountains so far this year.

Of them, the highest number of expedition permits - for 222 members of 23 teams - has been issued for Mount Everest (8848.86 metres).

The department has collected Rs 283 million by granting expedition permits for Mt Everest.

Similarly six teams have received expedition permits for Mt Lhotse (8,516 m), four teams for Mt Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), four teams for Mt Annapurna (8,091 m) and three teams for Mt Nuptse (7,855 m).

Issuing these permits, DoT has collected Rs 9.8 million from permits for Mt Lhotse, Rs 9.1 million from permits for Mt Annapurna, Rs 6.2 million from permits for Mt Dhaulagiri and Rs 1.6 million expedition royalty from permits for Mt Nuptse.

The government levies $11,000 per person for foreign climbers to climb Mt Everest during the spring season, while Nepali climbers have to pay Rs 75,000 per person. Similarly, in case of other mountains, the government charges foreigners $1,800 for peaks above 8,000 metres and Rs 10,000 for Nepali climbers.

Of the total expedition members, 307 are males while 82 members are females.

Last year, the expeditions were halted due to the COV- ID-19 pandemic. Citing health safety reasons, the government had halted expedition activities from March 13. However, during the same period in 2019, the department had collected Rs 217 million in royalty from expedition permits. Hence, this year's spring season is going to be quite significant for mountaineering sector.

Among others, the Bahraini royal guard team as well as a female Qatari - Sheikha Asma Al Thani - are attempting to scale Mt Everest, while a team of Nepali women are attempting Mt Annapurna for the first time in expedition history.

The department expects such attempts to scale the Nepali mountains will send a positive message in the international market regarding the country's mountaineering sector.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 9, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.