A Strategy for Mountain Tourism

As a traveler who has come to the Nepal Himalaya over 30 times, I have studied closely the trends in Himalayan tourism, particularly as it relates to Japanese visitors. Recently, Japanese climbers have started opting for mountains in China rather than those in Nepal. The major reason for this change in climbing destination is the paperwork required by the Nepali authorities. A quick way to revive mountaineering tourism is to simplify the procedures for getting climbing permission, provide quick transportation to base camp, and control climbing cost (for example, the arbitrary setting of porters´ fees). These steps will help bring some Japanese climbers back to the Nepali mountains. But this is not enough, and the market can be expanded even further.

Most Japanese trekkers would like to be able to stand on the summits of Nepali mountains. To satisfy this urge, the Nepali authorities and trek agencies could cooperate to devise proper climbing plans which would allow the tourist to stand on small peaks in about three weeks time. Such a climbing trip, if properly organised, would be even safer than trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp.

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Himal Southasian