Footloose & Fancy Free trekking for foreigners over in Nepal:
Foreigners visiting Nepal will no longer enjoy footloose & fancy free trekking without a guide in Nepal.
Nepal Tourism Board has officially stated foreigners are no longer allowed to trek without a guide. Board Director Maniraj Lamichhane has informed this decision will come into effect from April 1st.
As per NTB records, approx 50.000 backpacker tourists trekked without a guide or porter in Nepal in 2019. These tourists trekked by obtaining a route permit & a TIMS permit directly from NTB. However, this is now past tense.
Lamichhane went further to state that such a decision was bound to come about to make trekking safer after many tourists went missing over the past few years.
“This decision has been taken to keep our tourists’ safe at all cost” said Lamichhane.
This will be a win-win situation for all sides. Our visiting tourists’ will now be safe & head back to the homes they came from. On the flip side of the coin, employment will increase significantly in Nepal.
Now that the decision has been taken, the TIMs permit will no longer be issued to tourists without a guide. They must trek through the TBE(to be evaluated) services of a trekking company.
The price of a TIMS permit has also increased to 2000 rupees per person. TIMS permit for SAARC nationals has also increased to rupees 1000 effectively.