March 14, 2023: The decision of the government to impose a ban on solo trekking for foreign tourists has left them dissatisfied. Prior to this, foreign tourists were allowed to go on solo treks, but from April 1, it has become mandatory for tourists to have a guide with them. This decision has disappointed many tourists.
According to the Nepal Tourism Board, in 2019, more than 51,000 tourists came to Nepal for solo trekking. As the number of tourists coming to Nepal for solo trekking has been increasing, the rule requiring mandatory guides has become a cause for concern for tourists who want to visit Nepal.
The President of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Nielhari Bastola, has explained that this rule has been put in place to address the possible risks of accidents, rescue problems, and theft during solo trekking. He said, “We have to focus on the safety, rescue, and management of tourists. This rule has been implemented with that in mind. The Nepal Tourism Board will distribute a single type of TIMS card to all tourists, along with the travel information management system, to make it easier for tourists to travel around Nepal without any difficulties.”
After the government issued new rules to support tourist safety, all tourists will be given the same type of TIMS card. Prior to this, there were different types of TIMS cards available for different types of treks.