Kathmandu, November 20 Nepali entrepreneurs operating Kailash - Mansarovar tours are worried as the Foreign Exchange Centre of China has hiked the entry fee for Indian tourists travelling to Mansarovar via Nepal. According to Nepali tour operators, China has introduced a new rule for tour operators along with hike in entry fee. As per the new rule, only 10 tour operators will receive the permit from China to operate Mansarovar tours and they will have to make a deposit of $100,000. Citing that the new rule has affected the business of Nepali tour operators, Association of Kailash Tour Operators Nepal (AKTON) submitted a memorandum to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) on Tuesday seeking its intervention. According to the memorandum submitted to MoCTCA, the centre has raised the entry fee by $780 per Indian tourist. As per Lila Dahal, first vice president of AKTON, the decision has been made by Li Hung Yi, chief of the Foreign Exchange Centre. Until now, the centre had been charging IRs 130,000 to travel to Mansarovar via Kyirong, IRs 230,000 via Lhasa and IRs 170,000 via Humla. “Increasing the entry fee by almost 50 per cent is quite discouraging for Nepali tour operators,” Dahal said. “Moreover, slashing the number of permits being issued to operators is a sign of implementing syndicate in tour operation.” Currently, 35 Nepali tour operators are sending travellers to Mansarovar from Nepal. With the new rule, more than two dozen tour operators will be adversely affected, said Dahal. The new rule has also mentioned that if any Indian traveller returns from the trip before completing the package, he or she will have to dish out $100 as compensation. Also, in case of mismanagement, the Nepali tour operator will have to pay the centre $10,000. “Such rules clearly imply that the centre wants to boycott Nepali tour operators from the business,” he added. Meanwhile, China has also announced that the Mount Everest expedition fee for spring season in 2020 has been raised. The permit fee has been set at $18,000 per person for five-star lodging plus car for a group of four people. Similarly, the fee for four-star accommodation and bus transportation for 10 people has been set at $15,800 per person. The rates are a steep rise from the permit fee of $11,400 per person, with hotel and transportation included.
Nepali entrepreneurs worry after China hikes Mansarovar entry fee for Indians
Published: 11:31 am Nov 21, 2019