May 16: Mountain expedition, which had slowed down for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has regained momentum this year. With the beginning of the spring season, which is considered suitable for mountaineering, 953 people have so far taken permission to climb 25 mountain peaks, including Mount Everest.
According to the statistics of the Department of Tourism, a total of Rs 474.6 million revenue was collected till last Sunday from the 953 climbers from different countries. The government charges higher fees during the spring season. As per the department, a tourist has to pay USD 11,000 per person to climb Mount Everest.
The department has collected revenue of Rs 396.8 million by issuing permits for climbing Mt Everest, which also accounts for a large share of the total revenue collection. At a time when foreign exchange is under pressure, the arrival of tourists since the beginning of this year has made a positive impact.
Altogether 414 mountains and peaks of Nepal are open for expedition. According to the department, 317 people from 73 expeditions have taken permission to climb Mt Everest alone. Tourists from 55 countries including India, China, the UK, the USA, Russia, Canada have taken permission to climb Mt Everest during this year's spring season. There are 73 women seeking permission. This year, the highest number of tourists seeking permission to climb Mt Everest is from the US and the UK.
Dambar Parajuli, president of the Expedition Operators Association of Nepal, said that this year has been an exciting year for mountaineering as compared to 2020 and 2021. "Looking at the post-Covid situation, there has been a significant improvement in tourist arrivals this year," he said, adding, "With the increase in tourist arrival, tourism will soon bounce back."
He is of the view that although coronavirus is seen in some countries like China and Korea at present, tourist arrival will increase as it is not found in countries like the USA and the UK. As people were confined within their houses for around 2 years, they now want to travel and venture.
With the decline in coronavirus infection, the number of tourists visiting Nepal for mountaineering and other purpose has increased this year.