TAAN issues directive to halt all trekking activities

Kathmandu, March 20

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) has issued a directive to all trekking agencies to halt all ongoing trekking activities.

As the government has announced restrictions on international flights, TAAN has sought a halt in all trekking activities across the country, including in both monitored and unmonitored areas, said Sarita Lama, general secretary of TAAN.

“We have requested all the trekking agencies to bring back their trekkers to Kathmandu from wherever they are and arrange flights for them to go back to their home country,” she said. “As international airline companies are halting their flights to and from Nepal, we want our guests to return to their countries in this crucial situation.”

She further said that if any trekker is unable to return to Kathmandu as soon as possible, the trekking agencies must make arrangements for their quarantine.

“TAAN has issued such a directive following the direction of the Department of Tourism (DoT) issued on Thursday,” she added.

According to Lama, TAAN had issued a total of 11,000 Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) cards for group trekkers till March 1. “Most of them have already returned after cancelling their treks as the coronavirus threat increased, while a few of them are trekking at present,” Lama said. “Till mid-February, 70 per cent of the bookings for the month of March — mostly made by Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese — had been cancelled.”

She, however, said that TAAN is still compiling the data of groups that are currently trekking.

Amid this, Nepal Tourism Board has also announced that TIMS cards for individual trekkers will not be issued from today until further notice.

The government has already suspended all mountaineering activities for this spring season. Spring season (March to May) is the major season for trekking and mountaineering activities.

However, due to the coronavirus threat, the entire tourism industry across the world has been badly affected.