Trekkers have to pay triple charges

Pokhara, August 1:

Tourists going for trekking in Annapurna area will have to pay triple charges after Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN) implements the Trekking Registration Certificate (TRC).

Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) has been collecting a certain amount from trekkers as entrance fee while Maoists too collect Rs 1,000 each from the trekkers. The trekkers will bear triple charges after implementation of TRC.

Former chairman of western regional chapter of TAAN, Tika Ram Sapkota said the preparations to implement provisions for tourists to obtain TRC from TAAN before going for trekking is going on. The provision will be implemented from September 27, the world tourism day, Sapkota said. TRC will be provided only after taking a certain amount of money from foreign tourists.

According to TAAN, such provisions will help in keeping statistics of the number of tourists visiting the region and their security. Trekking entrepreneurs said the provision would also help check illegal trekking.

A nine-member committee, under the coordination of former chairman of TAAN Deepak Mahat, has been formed to ensure implementation of TRC, Sapkota said. The government has categorised trekking areas as free, supervised and controlled and tourists are going to be charged according to the categories.

Tourists are not charged any fees for trekking in the open trekking area. Upper Dolpa and upper Mustang, which lie in Annapurna area, are in the controlled category, while the lower Dolpa and Manaslu are in the supervised category, Sapkota said.

Central chairman of TAAN, Narendra BC said because tourists will have to bear extra expenses after the implementation of TRC, the fee for trekking in Annapurna area and upper Dolpa should be reduced.