Nepali government exempts visa fee for mountaineers

13:48, May 13, 2010      

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Nepali government has exempted visa fee for Mt. Everest (also called Qomolangma) and Dhaulagiri summiteers for 2010 and 2011, local media reported on Thursday.

The mountaineering fee has also been reduced by 50 percent for Dhaulagiri climbers during the two years, on the occasion of Dhaulagiri golden jubilee celebration, on May 13, and Sagarmatha day on May 29, reported The Himalayan Times daily.

The government is set to celebrate the third International Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) Day on May 29 with various programs. The celebration is scheduled for two days, on May 28-29.

"We are hopeful that the celebration of Mt. Everest Day will definitely help encourage Everest summiteers and promote Nepal Tourism Year 2011," said Ranjan Krishna Aryal, secretary at Ministry of Tou-rism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA).

"The celebration is scheduled for May 28 and 29," Aryal said adding that during the celebration Everest summiteers from around the world will be invited for the Everest Summiteers Seminar that the ministry has planned.

The ministry has also formed a special committee for the celebration of Sagarmatha Day that will be headed by minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Sarat Singh Bhandari.

According to Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) it has expected more than 250 Mt. Everest summiteers to attend the program.

The NMA has also requested the government to regard the summiteers as the Goodwill Ambassadors of Nepal to promote Nepal's mountain tourism.

Nepal has opened a total of 326 peaks for climbing. The higher 293 peaks are managed by Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation while the lower 33 peaks are managed by NMA.

This Spring Season, MoTCA has already issued permits to 80 expedition teams for climbing various higher peaks including Mt. Everest and still few more teams are in the pipeline.

Similarly, NMA has already issued permits to 358 climbing teams to scale 33 peaks of NMA and many more teams are expected to arrive before the monsoon in June. In the year 2009, NMA had issued permit to 1,210 climbing teams.

Source: Xinhua
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