December 06 , 2019
A delegation led by Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) President Mr. Khum Bahadur Subedi met with Hon’ble Minister for Forest and Environment Mr. Shakti Bahadur Basnet on December 6, 2019
TAAN First Vice President Mr. Cholendra Bahadur Karki handed over three point memorandum to the Minister Basnet expressing strong opposition to the decision of Sagarmatha National Park and Shivapuri Conservation Area to charge double entry fees as well as the requirement of compulsory 'Local Nature Guides' for visitors entering the park.
TAAN Secretary Mr. Damodar Dhakal stated that it is really unfortunate to require a local guide to enter national park and conservation area instead of giving priority to licensed trekking guides. “The behavior of local guides towards trekkers also does not seem satisfactory."
President of All Nepal Revolutionary Tourism Workers Union Mr. Devi Gauli told that if local guides are required to enter protected areas, then what is the purpose of professional licensed trekking guide.
President of All Nepal Tourism Workers Union Mr. Ramchandra Dhungana took the opportunity to raise the issue of double entry fees faced by trekking guides and urged the Minister to withdraw such provision that only adds financial burden.
Likewise Treasurer of UNITRAV Mr. Prashant Dhungana requested the Minister to implement the provision of issuing entry card from Park check posts while member of UNITRAV Mr. Deepesh Thapaliya called to make entry fee free for the guides who have valid license.
Representative from Trekking Guide Association of Nepal (TGAN) Mr. Sharki Sherpa drew the attention of Minister towards inappropriate provision of entry fee. " Sadly the purpose of entry fees appears only to collect money rather than giving valuable information to trekkers. Such inappropriate practices have affected not just trekkers but also rock climbers, mountain bikers and tourism entrepreneurs at large.
Responding to joint TAAN delegation, Hon'ble Minister Basnet stated his commitment to solve the problems endured by tourism entrepreneurs while handling groups in national parks and conservation areas. He assured the delegation that the Ministry would soon work on reducing or revising the double entry fee regulation.