The Nepal Tourism Board has announced new guidelines for trekkers visiting the country, effective April 1st, 2023. Under the new regulations, all trekkers are required to obtain the Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card and hire a licensed guide or porter for their trek.
The TIMS card is a mandatory registration system that collects important information about trekkers and their itinerary, including their name, passport number, trekking route, and contact details. The system is designed to help authorities locate and assist trekkers in the event of an emergency and to track the flow of visitors to different trekking routes.
In addition to the TIMS card requirement, all trekkers are also required to hire a licensed guide or porter for their trek. The guide or porter will be responsible for providing support, guidance, and assistance throughout the trek, ensuring the safety and well-being of the trekkers, and helping to minimize the impact on the environment and local communities.
The new guidelines are part of Nepal’s ongoing efforts to promote responsible and sustainable tourism practices, and to ensure the safety and well-being of all visitors to the country’s stunning trekking routes.
The guidelines say foreign visitors also have to obtain a trekkers’ information management systems (TIMS) card before going trekking.
The new rule will come into effect from Saturday.
According to guidelines, a trekker found travelling on designated trekking trails without a guide or TIMS card faces a Rs12,000 fine.
A trekking company taking trekkers on trips without a TIMS card will be fined Rs10,000 per trekker.
Officials stationed at the check posts will receive 20 percent of the fine money for stopping illegal trekkers as a special encouragement allowance, according to the guidelines.
The guidelines say the TIMS card is not required for those holding expedition permits for climbing mountains.
Tourists visiting restricted areas with permission from the Department of Immigration do not require the card either.
Foreign visitors travelling to the mountains or restricted areas for sightseeing by helicopter are exempt too. But they need to have a TIMS card and guide if it is a one-way trip.
Trekkers below the age of 10 do not require a TIMS card but their personal information will be stored online.
Two or more than two foreigners travelling to mountain regions by two- or four-wheeler will need a guide and should possess a TIMS card.
Officials of diplomatic missions and development partners and their families will be charged Rs500 per TIMS card. It is not required if they are going on an official visit.
Trekkers from the SAARC region have to pay Rs1,000 per card and trekkers from third countries are charged Rs2,000 per card.
The guidelines contain a list of 44 trekking trails in Kanchenjunga, Makalu Barun, Everest, Rolwaling, Panchpokharai Bhairavkunda, Helambu, Langtang, Ganesh Himal-Ruby Valley, Manaslu, Annapurna, Mustang, Dhaulagiri, Dolpa and Humla where trekkers must be accompanied by a guide.