The government has made massive cuts in climbers’ royalty fee for peaks including the Mt Everest with an aim at attracting more mountaineers.
Also, the he government for the first time has introduced separate mountaineering royalty fee for Nepali climbers in a bid to get rid of crowds seeking government financial assistance and royalty waiver to climb Mt Everest.
As per the revised rate, $11,000 has been fixed for a foreigner aspiring to climb Mt Everest during the spring season from the normal route (South East Ridge). Earlier, the fee was $25,000 per person. Likewise, $ 10,000 has been fixed for a climber climbing Everest from other routes.
The royalty fee for climbers on the South East Ridge route during autumn has been revised to $5,500 from $12,500, while for summer/winter it has been revised to $2,750 per person from $6,250.
The new royalty fee for foreigners will come into effect from January 1, 2015.
However, the group royalty system will stay in place. A Mt Everest expedition that may have a maximum of 15 members (group) currently costs $10,000 per person. For Nepali climbers, the royalty fee has been set at Rs 75,000 per person during the spring season and Rs 37,500 and Rs 18,250 during the autumn and winter/summer, respectively. The latest fee structure for Nepali climbers will come into effect from February 13, 2014.
Government officials said the royalty fee was very high for Nepalis and it used to take at least a two-month process to get royalty waiver from the government. As a result, many of them were forced to climb mountains as guides of expedition teams. Fixing the minimum royalty amount for Nepalis will end such practices, the officials said.
The royalty fee for foreigners aspiring peaks of 8,000 meters or more (except Everest) has been revised to $1,800 per person from $5,000 during the spring. It will cost $900 and $450 per person during the autumn and winter/summer, respectively.
“The move is aimed at attracting and encouraging more individual climbers in the country,” said Madhu Sudan Burlakoti, chief of the Industry Division under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. “We have revised the fee as there were numerous complaints from foreign mountaineers that climbing cost was too high in Nepal.”
A committee formed to recommend on the revision of mountaineering royalty and adoption of necessary measures to make Nepal’s mountain tourism productive had in November last year submitted a report to the government, suggesting a revision of the expedition royalty fee for Mt Everest and other peaks. The revised royalty fee was published in the Nepal Gazette on Wednesday.
The government on July 16, 2013, had completely waived off royalty fee for climbers for peaks located in the mid-and-far western development region for five years. Annually, the government has been collecting more than Rs 240 million in mountaineering royalty.
source: ekantipur, 13 Feb 2014