Govt to introduce Federal Tourism Bill

Kathmandu, November 28

The government will soon introduce the Federal Tourism Bill, which will give priority to public-private partnership projects, focus on catering quality service to tourists and make it mandatory to mountaineers to collect garbage from the peaks they ascent.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has prepared the first draft of the bill and has started holding discussions with concerned stakeholders.

“The bill is comprehensive and far-sighted, and will address problems seen in the tourism industry,” Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari said.

The draft bill includes provisions on opening of luxury resorts and management of the casino industry. It also focuses on advancing the tourism industry through public-private partnership, said Adhikari.

The draft bill also speaks of monitoring hotels, restaurants, resorts and bars on a regular basis to ensure tourist-friendly services are being provided. It also includes a provision that allows provincial and local governments to issue licenses to investors to set up hotels, restaurant, resorts and bars.

Among others, the draft bill proposes to make it mandatory for mountaineers to bring back, destroy or recycle waste they generate in a proper manner. To implement this provision effectively, the draft bill proposes to obtain a security deposit of at least $500 from each mountaineer, which will be returned once the climber brings back, destroys or recycles waste.

“The mountaineers must destroy or recycle waste in front of concerned officials near the mountains they have travelled to. But waste that cannot be destroyed or recycled in the mountains must be brought back to Kathmandu and handed over to concerned authorities,” says the draft bill.

China has introduced a similar policy for mountaineers, according to MoCTCA Spokesperson Ghanashyam Upadhyaya.

“If the waste is not managed properly, climbers will not receive climbing certificate from the government,” Upadhyaya said.