KATHMANDU, July 24
In an effort to address the current state of safety conditions in Nepal, Nepal Mountaineering Association recently organised a seminar on Mountain Tourism Safety with the support of New Zealand High Commission, SAMARTH and UKAID.
A press release issued by the NMA on Friday said the mountain tourism community is determined to make concerted efforts to thoroughly improve safety conditions of mountain tourism and communicate it to the international community of mountain lovers, source markets, travel companies and travel advisories. Ang Tshering Sherpa, NMA president, highlighted the ‘significant role tourism occupies in Nepal’s economy by employing a major share of the Nepali workforce, providing economic opportunities to those who need them most in rural regions.’ He said, “In the aftermath of two devastating earthquakes, reviving tourism is going to be an indispensable factor in the systemic and widespread recovery process of Nepal.”
David Bamford, a world expert on International Tourism Advisor, presented his assessment and recommendations to enhance safety condition in Nepal’s mountain tourism. He reminded us to “pursue international best practices in areas such as skill development, mountain condition knowledge and communication system, as well as rescue treatment.” He encouraged the community to form a safety council that would lead coordinated efforts to encourage mountain activities, foster safety and promote quality standards.
Over the course of the seminar, various experts in the mountain tourism field shared their insights and recommendations to improving safety conditions in mountain tourism. Mahabir Pun, award-winning social innovator, revealed his ideas for implementing and financing a smart “electronic tracking system,” a GPS system to track the whereabouts of fellow trekkers, climbers and guides that would significantly speed up rescue operations.
Tulsi P Gautam, Director General at the Department of Tourism, suggested that mountaineering stakeholders could share the risks with government and create a joint crisis management call ready around the clock.
A version of this article appears in print on July 25, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.