Mountaineers can now climb the highest peaks of the world as Nepal resumes tourism
Posted on 16/11/2020
After a seven month lockdown, Nepal has finally opened up the country for those who want to scale its mountainous terrain, and this time around visitors will be able to have the trails all to themselves. Eight of the world's highest mountain peaks are found in Nepal making it a holy grail for adventure enthusiasts. The ideal season for trekking is spring, and the government has decided to give the green light to qualified mountain climbers so they can take full advantage of the good weather and empty terrain.
Saving the industry
Tourism is the biggest economic activity of Nepal, and the coronavirus pandemic has impacted almost 800,000 people who rely on the industry. Nepal sees the highest number of tourists during spring and autumn, but this year has been a disappointment for both the mountaineers and those who depend on the tourists for an income. In an attempt to prevent further economic turmoil, Nepal has decided to allow qualified mountaineers and trekkers to enter the country. "We need to give a small ray of hope to the people in the adventure tourism industry that there is still a future somewhere to look forward to," said Rudra Singh Tamang, the Director General of the Department of Tourism in Nepal.
They already conducted a trial run earlier in August, when they allowed a select group of professional mountain climbers to come into the country. International flights had commenced on August 17, and after an extensive screening process the visitors were permitted to begin their trekking journey. The whole expedition was a huge success and this prompted the government to reopen the borders for the rest of the mountaineering community. "We are not opening the country for all visitors, and only mountaineers and trekkers who have taken prior permit will be allowed to come to Nepal," announced Tamang. "We are opening to a sector of visitors who we know we can handle and manage," he added.
Getting into Nepal
The process of getting into Nepal may be arduous, but this could be a unique opportunity for mountaineers to see the terrain void of humans. In order to get to Nepal, all visitors must be approved prior to arrival. To do so they need to provide a detailed account of their planned itinerary and they need to have a permit that is given only by the government of Nepal. Normally tourists can get a visa on arrival, but this is no longer valid.
Additionally all visitors need to present negative Covid-19 test results and they must have health insurance that includes a Covid-19 treatment, if incase they are found positive during their journey. Upon arrival, the mountaineers are mandated to stay in quarantine for a week, following which there will be another test. Once they are found negative they will be free to set off on their journey into the mountains.