Kathmandu, Mar. 20: Trekking permit for foreign national(s) has been temporarily halted in a bid to prevent possible spread of the COVID-19 in the country.
The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has informed about the closure of distribution of trekking information management system (TIMS) cards until a further notice though a press statement today and with this, no foreign national will be eligible for trekking here. The decision comes into effect from today itself.
TIMS card is mandatory for any foreigner to going for in Nepal-based routes. TIMS is taken as one of the important sources of income in Nepal's tourism. A foreign tourist is charged Rs 200 to go for a trek through individually and the fess Rs 1,000 if it is processed through organisation-level.
With the deadly COVID- 19 spreading globally, there is a significant cut in international flights and the movement of international tourists has slowed down in the country.
NTB and the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (RAAN) are authorized bodies to distribute TIMS. TAAN chair Khum Bahadur Subedi confirmed that stakeholders concerned have agreed to suspend the distribution until the infection risk slows down.
In this season, TAAN was distributing over 250 TIMS including over 50 from its Pokhara Office and the NTB was distributing 200 TIMS each day.