The Department of Tourism (DoT) has called on the interested candidates to submit their application for the mountain guide licence.

Issuing a notice today, DoT has called for the applications based on the fourth amendment of Tourism Industry Service Directive, 2013. According to the department, eligible guides can apply for the licence starting from March 14.

Earlier, the government had recognised mountain guides recommended by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) too. However, now only government licence holders will get the opportunity to work as mountain guides. It is estimated that there are around 2,000 mountain guides currently working in Nepal.

The government hopes to identify the exact number of mountain guides in the country and better regulate the sector through the licensing provision.

The government is confident that government licence holders will be able be get more benefits during their expeditions abroad. According to the framework, an experienced mountain guide who has climbed mountains in the past will be able to get a licence directly based on their climbing record.

Other mountain guides have to submit certificates of completion of training and course.

The mountain guides who had acquired the 'Red Book' provided by the NMA will be eligible to get a government licence based on the same experience.

Those without the government licence will not be allowed to go to the mountains with any climbing team. Those who go for mountaineering without a licence will be recognised only as high-altitude porters.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 11, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.