A delegation of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) visited Honorable Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Yogesh Bhattarai at his office on October 10.

The delegation headed by TAAN President Mr. Khum Bahadur Subedi handed over a memo to the Minister suggesting some immediate policy reforms in the tourism sector.

President Subedi drew the attention of the Minister to two foreign trekkers who have gone missing in Rasuwa for the last 10 days and requested for effective implementation of TIMS in all trekking areas. He urged the Minister to make trekking guide and porter mandatory for all trekkers and use government registered trekking company.

Similarly, TAAN General Secretary Mrs. Sarita Lama read out the suggestions provided by TAAN and asked the Minister to advise Nepal Tourism Board to issue TIMS card online. She further requested Minister Bhattarai to implement Group TIMS effectively and abolish Individual (FIT) TIMS card as well as the practice of collecting Rs. 1500 collected by Sagarmatha National Park from guides.

The delegation strongly appealed with the Minister to impose 5% TAX on trekking and mountaineering sector, annul the VAT levied against the use of porter, mule and yak services and halt Kathmandu – Lukla flights completely in order to promote flight on Ramechhap –Lukla sector.

Minister Bhattrai congratulated the newly elected Executive Committee of TAAN and wished for their successful tenure. Minister Bhattarai said that safety of tourist is our utmost responsibility so taking a guide or a porter while trekking is essential to ensuring security of tourist. In order to resolve the problems faced by trekking entrepreneurs, Minister Bhattarai assured to organize a joint meeting with the Tourism Ministry, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Department of Tourism, Inland Revenue Department, Nepal Tourism Board, TAAN and NMA.

The delegation comprised of Senior Vice- President Mr. Nabin Trital, General Secretary Mrs. Sarita Lama, Secretary Mr. Damodar Dhakal, Joint Treasurer Mr. Surya Kumar Shrestha, Executive Members Mr. Simbir Ghale, Mr. Sanam Sherpa and Mr. Prem Bahadur Lama.

Source : TAAN