August 15: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Jeevan Ram Shrestha, has said that the government preparing to gradually open new peaks for ascent.
Minister Shrestha made such announcement while addressing the 32nd Annual General Meeting of the Nepal Mountaineering Association on Sunday.
According to Minister Shrestha, government is planning to open new peaks within the range of 5,800 meters to 8,000 meters for climbing.
"A study is being conducted on which peaks will be appropriate for opening so that it can also benefit the locals and improve their living standard. Climbing permits will be issued after analyzing the impacts,” said Shrestha.
Minister Shrestha made it clear that the government is ready to remove any legal hurdles faced by the mountaineering sector.
He further said that the government will no longer announce one-year plan for visiting Nepal but has decided to work for the overall development of the tourism sector by announcing the Tourism Decade from 2023 to 2033.
“It is necessary to establish Nepal as a major tourism destination in the world,” said Shrestha, adding, “Nepal's mountains are alluring to foreign tourists. Besides the natural beauty, Nepal can also attract tourists through adventure sports and its rich cultural heritage.”
Minister Shrestha said that the government is ready to move ahead by forging collaboration with the private sector for the development of tourism sector.
On the occasion, Secretary at the tourism ministry Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane said that tourism is an important pillar of national economy and it will be strengthened by collaborating with private sector.
Vice Chairperson of Nepal Tourism Board, Chandra Rijal, and Chairperson of Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal, Khum Bahadur Subedi, stressed the need of effective collaboration and cooperation among the stakeholders to boost the tourism sector.
Currently, 114 peaks including Mt Everest are open for climbing. Minister Shrestha shared that a 74-point plan was being enforced to revive the tourism sector hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.