September 25 , 2016
A delegation of Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) met with newly appointed Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Shankar Prasad Adhikari, on Friday and wished for his successful tenure.
The delegation led by TAAN President Chandra Prasad Rijal congratulated Secretary Adhikari on his appointment to the post and also apprised him of the problems being faced by the Nepali tourism industry in general and the trekking sector in particular.
"TAAN is facing a serious problem in the management of Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) as it has not been getting its due share from TIMS fund from the past couple of years. If we do not get our share immediately, it will be difficult for us to implement TIMS," Rijal said in the meeting. "As the chairperson of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), I request you to take needful initiative in this direction."
Among others, TAAN delegation underlined the need to update rules, laws and policies related to the tourism sector. "The transport ministry recently ruled that green-plated vehicles cannot carry tourists. This is a very wrong decision. It will hamper domestic tourism which is picking up gradually in recent years," he said, urging Secretary Karki to revisit the definition of 'tourist' in our laws, rules and regulations.
Similarly, TAAN delegation requested the ministry to lift the restriction in controlled areas to facilitate movement of more trekkers there. He also urged the ministry to do the needful for opening integrated rescue centers in the Everest and Annapurna region as mentioned in the government's policy and programs for Fiscal Year 2016/17.
Likewise, TAAN General Secretary Karna Bahadur Lama said TAAN would have to take a strong decision if NTB does not release its share from the TIMS fund. "We do not have money to buy TIMS card from TAAN. We might have to stop distributing TIMS from October 1 if we do not get funds by then," added Lama.
TAAN Joint Treasurer Krishna Man Shrestha, Executive Committee Member Tara Nath Lamichhane 'Dinesh', and TAAN staffers Bishnu Bhattarai and Prakash Khadka were in the delegation.