Challenges in Enforcing TIMS Standards for Nepal's Mountain Treks

The implementation of the Tourist Information Management System (TIMS) standards issued by the Nepal Tourism Board to ensure the safety and organization of mountain treks has encountered problems.

 Previously, foreign tourists were required to obtain a TIMS card and hire a guide to go on treks, but lately, this rule has not been enforced.

Despite the Nepal Tourism Board's efforts to implement TIMS standards, many trekkers still embark on journeys without guides, leading to loss and endangerment of lives. Although the Board introduced online sales of TIMS cards starting April 1 last year, the absence of checkposts has posed challenges.

According to Ramchandra Sedhai, the head of the Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN), over 20,000 TIMS cards have been sold online, resulting in revenue collection of over four billion rupees. However, due to the lack of checkposts, more than a million tourists have traveled without TIMS cards, causing significant revenue loss to the government.

Sedhai emphasized the importance of TIMS cards in ensuring the safety and organization of tourist treks, advocating for their mandatory requirement by the government. Despite efforts to distribute TIMS cards online, the lack of checkposts remains a problem due to government delays, leading to unauthorized treks and potential risks to tourists.

To address safety concerns, Sedhain highlighted the necessity of mandatory TIMS cards and guides for trekking areas, especially in risky regions like the Himalayas. Additionally, he mentioned the need for checkposts to monitor trekkers and ensure compliance with TIMS standards.

The establishment of checkposts is crucial to verify whether tourists have obtained TIMS cards and guides, maintain updated trekking records, and provide coordination and assistance in case of emergencies. Sedhain urged the government and the Nepal Tourism Board to resolve issues related to TIMS implementation promptly.

Moreover, Sedhain mentioned that tourists found trekking without TIMS cards or guides could face fines of up to 12,000 rupees. Similarly, trekking companies sending tourists without TIMS cards could face fines of up to 10,000 rupees per person.

Despite progress in various aspects, the failure to reach an agreement between TAAN and the Nepal Tourism Board has resulted in significant revenue loss, impacting both the government and tourist.


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