POKHARA: Tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara have demanded that the government ease the process of granting permission required to trek in the popular Manaslu area.
Citing unnecessary hassles of having to make a long haul to the Capital to acquire permit for tourists, the concerned entrepreneurs have sought change in the provision so that permission can be granted from Pokhara itself.
“Though the permission per person costs Rs 2,000, more than double or triple the actual amount is spent to reach Kathmandu just to obtain it, how can such a provision encourage tourists to trek?” asked a local tourism entrepreneur.
“Most trekking agencies based in Pokhara offer trekking service to Manaslu area and it is the Manaslu Conservation Area Project under National Trust for Nature Conservation which is responsible for issuing the trekking permits, but it is intriguing that though the project’s office is based in Pokhara itself, we have to travel to the Tourism Board in Kathmandu to get permission,” lamented Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal Western Regional Association Chairperson Ramchandra Sharma, adding they have voiced their concerns to the concerned authorities many times but to no avail.
Manaslu trekking circuit which includes major destinations like Chum Valley and Larke Pass spreads over 1,663 square km in Gorkha district. It generally takes three weeks to complete the circuit. It’s also famous for a number of rare species of plants, birds and animals and also for the close-up view of mountains. Besides the amount the tourists have to post to the MCAP, there are additional charges they have to post to the immigration department on the basis of the time they want to spend on the trekking circuit.
Source: The Himalayan Times
Date: 28 August, 2014