Solo travel to Nepal is about to be banned by the Nepal Tourism Board, unless adventure tourists have a guide during their travels.
This is a sharp turnaround from standard practice in 2019, when the board permitted more than 46 000 solo travellers to visit Nepal, which is home to Mount Everest. The Himalayan attraction, sought after by the most dedicated adventure travellers internationally, already reopened in April 2021.
Mani Raj Lamichhane, Director of Nepal Tourism Board, says the decision has been taken to ensure the safety of visitors to Nepal, and will take effect from April 1. The board hears 40-50 cases each year about adventure tourists being out of contact during their treks in the country, and wants to send a strong message to the world that Nepal is a safe adventure tourism destination.
Another positive impact of the new mandate will be the new job opportunities for citizens of Nepal who can become qualified guides.
This is a win for the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal, which has been lobbying for such a system since 2012.