India earned very nominal revenue from peak booking process because of 50% discount offered by Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) for the 2014 and 2015 climbing season. The discount is offered under campaign “777 Days of the Incredible Indian Himalayas.”
The revenue is calculated on the basis of expedition data collected from Indian Mountaineer (Number 50, 2014) and peak booking fee rates published on the website of the foundation.
Since data about exact team size is unavailable, we have calculated the revenue on the basis of one assumption: all expeditions consisted of two members at least. There were no solo expeditions.
Mountaineering Revenue at Discounted Rate
India thus at least earned USD 15,600 (INR 970,356*) towards peak fee collected by IMF at the discounted rate. IMF booked 45 climbs for 33 peaks.
(Note: * @ INR 62.2023 per USD: exchange rate published on the website of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on February 16, 2015)
Mountaineering Revenue at Non-Discounted Rate
Non-discounted total revenue aggregated at least slightly more than three and quarter million rupees (INR 3,287,711). This revenue consists of two revenue sources:
- IMF revenue and
- State-specific revenue.
IMF earned USD 31,200 from peak booking fee.
Uttarakhand charges additional fees, including state peak fee. The share of IMF amounted to 59% and that of state aggregated 41%. Uttarakhand contributed the entire state-specific revenue in 2014.
IMF earned about 24% of peak fee revenue from the British expeditions to the Indian Himalayas in 2014. Out of these British expeditions, Uttarakhand accounted for the highest IMF revenue (51%), followed by Jammu and Kashmir (36%). The remaining 76% revenue was contributed by the expeditions from the sixteen countries.
Given the size of the India Himalayas, more than 70% of the 2,500-kilometer-long chain, India is earning peanuts. The potential is being wasted. Additional fees charged by Uttarakhand makes the climbing expensive. Environment and camping and trail management fees are justifiable. However, why does the state charge additional peak fee over and above the fee charged by IMF?