December 24 , 2017
A delegation of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) led by its president Nava Raj Dahal, on December 24, 2017, held a meeting with Secretary of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Maheswor Neupane and disclosed the problems and obstacles faced by the Nepali tourism industry in general and the trekking sector in particular.
TAAN Executive Committee gave a brief introduction about themselves and spoke about the different issues confronted by its member agencies. TAAN President Mr Nava Raj Dahal voiced over illegal trekking operations which are resulting in the forms of accidents like missing, death, harassments and so on. He also apprised of the issues of expensive and double permit fees; requesting secretary Neupane to review policies regarding appropriate charges of permit fees including that of controlled and directed areas in northern zone of Nepal.
TAAN delegation also appealed to secretary Neupane for making obligatory provision that promotes the system of taking guides and porter compulsorily. Presenting a Letter of Memorandum (LoM) TAAN president expressed positive note on getting full support from ministry and also assured them of full support on the part of private sector. The two-hour long meeting look into the issues and agendas of this sector; with possible recommendations for smooth service delivery at immigration, availability of money exchange facility therein, smart airport management system among others.
Meanwhile, the delegation also spoke about current issues of TIMS and requested to help for effective implementation of TIMS. The meeting also delved into the topic of rescue operation and deliberated on healthy tourism practice by ending all malpractices such as unwanted chopper-rescue, overcharge cases and alarming insurance issues as reported from the market.
Senior Vice President Mr. Khum Bahadur Subedi also focused on the agendas of safe tourism and opined on to resume awarding certificates to mountaineering support staff upon successful ascend. General Secretary Mr. Ang Pemba Sherpa also highlighted the issues of garbage, a common problem faced by the industry and stressed on to bring new provision of ‘Environment Protection Fund’ replacing garbage disposal deposit. TAAN Treasurer Mr Ramkrishna Timalsina, EC members Gopal Shrestha, Jeevan Lama, Rajan Kapri among others shared their experiences and underlined numerous problems facing at the airport from arrival to departure.
Joint Secretary Mr Ghanashyam Upadhayay also briefed the secretary of his works and policy making efforts in his period at MoCTCA. Secretary Mr Maheshwor Neupane considered the appeal a very genuine one and was very positive towards making Nepalese tourism better in future days. He requested the entire team of TAAN to bring any ideas and plans to demoralize the illegal trekking operation thus ending all forms of malpractices reported from the market. He assured to support private sector on par with government plans and policies. 'Existing uncertainly of TIMS will be sorted out at once'' he said. He clearly stated that in line with the spirit of constitution local bodies can tax, however, it is too early to decide unilaterally at a time other laws are still in progress.
Mr Neupane urged TAAN to galvanize efforts from private sector that alone glorify nation with smart tourism practices. Lastly, Mr. Neupane wished present executive committee a successful tenure and a prolific period.
TAAN CEO Mr Tek Bahadur Mahat, Media Officer Subina Manandhar and photographer Pemba Sherpa were also present at the meeting.