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August 20, 2019

Where there is an opportunity, Challenges follow

  • Nava Raj Dahal
Nava Raj Dahal
Nava Raj Dahal-President of TAAN

Nepal’s mountaineering tourism offers ample possibilities, opportunities and challenges too, because where there are opportunities, the challenges also automatically surface and follow.

These challenges and problems were pertinent to Mt. Everest, mountaineering and trekking. That’s why under the initiation of Prime Minister K.P. Oli, a task force was formed that recently submitted its report to the government by incorporating appropriate suggestions collected from the concerned tourism entrepreneurs, and stakeholders.

The report submitted to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai will act as a milestone to resolve those persistent issues seen in the mountaineering and trekking sector.

The number of mountain climbers in the future is likely to increase after the suggestions will be implemented. The tourism entrepreneurs should have been responsible for the state and the government also should facilitate the entrepreneurs.

I am happy that this report has come in favor of all concerned stakeholders involved in trekking or mountaineering tourism. The government this time has assured us that all efforts will be done to implement those suggestions incorporated in the report by making by-laws or appropriate regulations.

Some unfair competitions are going on in the trekking and mountaineering sector. We want to put an end to it once for all. There have been accidents at high altitudes. Now, we want to be more careful about the safety of the climbers or trekkers, for which the report mentions certain criteria and using well-trained guides.

We need to carry out some promotional activities like developing infrastructure and enhancing the service facilities for the tourists in the trekking and mountaineering sector.

We should be proud of having the maximum possibilities of tourism in the country. But why can’t we make the most use of these possibilities and opportunities? Mountaineering and trekking possibilities are found in each of the provinces too. The government’s outlook towards the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) is somewhat indifferent although it is TAAN whose efforts can bring tourists in the country.

Some lapses in TAAN might have caused such a situation to be created. Let’s look at the composition of Nepal Tourism Board which is formed to represent government as well as private agencies.

However, all private agencies are not represented in the Nepal Tourism Board. We have been advocating for the representation of our private agencies at the tourism board.

The tourism board seems to be engaged in both promotional and conservational activities. I think that it should be focused on promotional activities of trekking and mountaineering tourism only. And about my tenure at TAAN, I think I have done all the activities which befitted me.

(This story is based on a conversation with Nava Raj Dahal, the President of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN)

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