Nepal earns substantial revenue from Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) cards, but the tourism stakeholders worry about not utilizing the funds to develop the trekking segment and delaying the release of the royalties for the development projects. However, Myagdi district could initiate development of new trekking routes in March 2014.
TIMS has been implemented for controlling illegal trekking trips and safety and security of the trekkers since 2010. Since then various authorities collected millions of Nepali rupees by issuing the cards. However, a large part of the trekking revenue is parked in the bank accounts instead of investing it in adventure tourism infrastructure development. For example, the Annapurna Region generated NPR 150 million from TIMS cards, the Western Region Chapter of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) collected NPR 95 million, and Pokhara Office of Nepal Tourism Board (N.T.B.) earned NPR 52 million (Data Source: Republica, March 30, 2014). Both TAAN and N.T.B. spend the revenue collectively. TAAN spent some of the revenue on administration, check-posts along the trekking routes, and insurance and medical expenses of the trekking guides. The board fueled promotional activities with the revenue. But still large amount of the trekking revenue is unutilized.
New Trekking Routes in Myagdi
Myagdi District creates more adventure tourism products to add variety to the portfolio. The Myagdi District Development Committee, Nepal is using a part of the royalty (NPR 5.9 million) received from the tourism ministry to construct six new trekking routes to promote adventure tourism. The treks lead to historical and religious attractions, rural settlements, and / or view points in the high-altitude areas. The routes are (1) Beni-Malikdhuri, (2) Bhu Tatopani-Base Camp of Mount Annapurna, (3) Bim Baran-Base Camp of Mount Dhaulagiri, (4) Galeshwor-Dhaulagiri Aaisafal, (5) Kuinemangale-Rikhar, and (6) Jayamarkut-Jhankripani. The committee would complete Bhu Tatopani-Base Camp of Annapurna and Galeshwor-Dhaulagiri Aaisafal trails by the end of the current fiscal year. The other trekking routes would be ready by the end of the next fiscal. This product portfolio expansion would further increase the revenue from trekking in Nepal.