TAAN seeks govt cooperation

Kathmandu, March 3

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) has apprised the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and International Relations and Labour Committee (IRLC) of the Legislature-Parliament about the problems being faced by the country’s mountain tourism sector.

TAAN General Secretary Karna Bahadur Lama held separate meetings with PAC Chairman Janardan Sharma and IRLC Chairman Prabhu Sah, recently, and drew their attention to the problems being faced by the mountain tourism sector.

Among others, TAAN raised issue of Golden Gate entry pass for tourism enterprises and administrative hassles in issuance of climbing permits. Similarly, it said government agencies were not implementing programmes for the revival of the tourism industry after the devastating earthquakes of April and May.

“Our efforts to organise a meeting of different line agencies in the presence of the tourism minister to discuss problems being faced by the industry went in vain due to indifferent attitude of the tourism ministry,” statement issued by TAAN quoted Lama as saying.

“Similarly, our demand for institutional representation of the private sector in the executive committee of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to make the organisation more accountable to the private sector has also fallen on deaf ears.”

TAAN said that the tourism minister and tourism secretary were not taking any action even when NTB is violating the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with TAAN for implementation of Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS).

“Families of trekking workers who died in the Annapurna region due to the blizzards in October last year have not received compensation yet because NTB has not released TIMS fund to TAAN,” as per the statement issued today.

“This has also affected identification, exploration and promotion of new trekking trails as well as participating in international marts and travel fairs for tourism promotion.”

Lama also said in the meetings that the country could lose tens of millions of rupees in revenue if implementation of TIMS is affected.

IRLC had written a letter to NTB about a year ago, asking it to release fund to associations/organisations only after completion of auditing by Office of the Auditor General.

Responding to Lama, Sharma said he would take necessary initiatives to address the problems raised by TAAN. Similarly, Sah said the government agencies should simplify implementation of TIMS instead of creating complexities, the TAAN statement stated.