Nepal Bans Solo Trekkers
It’s been five years since Nepal banned solo explorers from climbing Mount Everest, and, according to CNN, the government has now extended the restriction to the whole country.
From now on, travelers who hope to trek in remote regions must hire a government-licensed guide or join a group.
According to CNN, Nepal is home to eight of the world’s tallest mountains. It is also home to beautiful, yet remote, trekking regions, which unfortunately can lead to many adventurers getting lost.
“When you are traveling solo, in case of emergencies, there is no one to help you,” Mani R. Lamichhane, Director of the Nepal Tourism Board, told CNN. “It is fine if they are traveling in the cities, but in the remote mountains, the infrastructure is not adequate.”
“When tourists go missing or they are found dead, even the government cannot track them because they have taken remote routes,” Lamichhane added.
CNN reports that when trekkers go missing, the cost of search and rescue missions for solo travelers can be expensive. In addition, unlicensed tour guides and companies are also an issue.
“There have been some cases where the trekking association has been requesting us to stop these unauthorized trekking operations. This has been a demand from tourism associations for a long time,” Lamichhane told CNN of the unlicensed companies that do not register with the government and do not pay taxes.