Why a Guide is Mandatory for Trekking in Nepal
Nepal is a diverse country with over 135 different ethnic communities and 123 different languages spoken. This makes Nepal a unique land, a garden of different flowers.
There are different areas in Nepal where different languages are spoken and it is difficult for even the native fellowmen to understand their language, culture, and customs.
Moreover, in the Himalayas, different ethnic communities reside and carry their own culture and speak their languages.
For solo travelers, understanding those will be very difficult, without a local registered guide, their journey will be fruitless. It will just be a mere hike into the Himalayas and sometimes a clash with the locals arises due to poor communication. This might be due to misunderstanding the local culture or the language.
Some serious incidents happened and wish never in the future. To avoid all these incidents in the future and for the safety and security of travelers while being Nepal, having a guide has always been recommended.
This will help trekkers avoid fatal casualties and also help in making quick responses in times of unpredictable emergencies.
How will locals benefit from this idea?
People living in the villages and mountains are very concerned with their culture and customs. They are indigenous and are worshipers of nature as well. For travelers, this might be different as compared to their homeland.
Moreover, they are not educated, and speaking or knowing English is difficult for them. However, some teahouse or lodge owners speak to some extent but not to a great level.
Due to the lack of proper communication with the lodges and tea house owners and also with the locals, there arose some serious incidents.
Having a guide will help in explaining the culture and customs of the locals and will easily help travelers in translating them. They will explain about the trail and how to respect the local tradition and culture.
Guides’ presence also guarantees the safety and security of the trekkers who are familiar with the trail and the locals. They will help in making pre-booking the lodges in the mountain and the overnight camps to stay.
This will in reward help to fill the gap between the locals and trekkers because the guide will be a communicator as well.
How will a Guide benefit
Tourism is a big industry in Nepal, there are thousands of people directly or indirectly involved in the tourism sector.
However, tourism is a seasoned professional because Autumn and Spring are regarded as the best times of the year for travelers and so they arrive.
From Guide to Porter and local tea house operators, they remain busy during this time of the year and they await so.
They earn during the season and with their earning they survive the rest of the year. Hiring a registered Guide and a Porter helps them to survive along with their family.
This will help them to survive in their profession increasing their professionalism.
How will trekkers benefit
Trekkers’ safety has always remained an utmost concern in Nepal Tourism Industry. The decision to implement a compulsory trekking guide was a far-cry idea. This happened when lots of solo travelers started to face difficulties in the mountains.
However, due to independent budget trekkers, the Nepal Tourism Board was not concerned with the idea of making a guide mandatory for trekking.
This started to increase the number of adventure trekkers who started to trek solo. Further accelerating the risk factors number of trekkers are found lying dead due to high altitude sickness and other individual sicknesses.
Trekkers seem not much concerned with the altitude-related problem they are to face. As in the mountains due to global warming sometimes the weather change is unpredictable and trekkers are unaware of the situation, also they are not familiar with the local trail when they are individual trekkers.
In times of emergency, they face trouble due to a lack of on-time rescue. So, to help trekkers during difficulty guide will play a vital role in arranging rescue operations with their concerned agency in Kathmandu.
This will help trekkers much and their trek in the mountains remains safe and sound.
Death in the Mountain
Every year several solo trekkers are found dead on the trail. This is because they are not rescued on time and they don’t have any idea about how to contact authorized administration.
Trying to be too adventurous is sometimes too expensive for individual trekkers. This number of deaths has created huge concern for the government of Nepal and the reputation of Nepal Tourism has been shattered.
Every year government and the concerned embassy in Nepal spend millions of dollars on search operations and are too late for rescue. Trekkers’ whereabouts are unknown and when their relatives inform the concerned administration, it is too late. This has been increasing every year and many trekkers’ whereabouts are still a mystery.
Increase in the number of Missing Trekkers
Apart from death, every year number of solo trekkers go missing in the Himalayas. There are many factors for this and on the top list remains solo trekkers without any registered guide or registered trekking agency.
When trekker hikes themselves, they obtain the required permits by themselves and start trekking toward their destination. As the mountain area is less crowded the trail remains less busy. Trekkers sometimes misjudge the proper trail, as there is nothing related to the location map to guide them.
Apart from this during snowfall, trails are covered with snow, and tracing the right path is very difficult for first-time trekkers in that particular area. This increase in casualties, as finding a village or lodge is very difficult when you are not on the proper trail.
How to select a proper trekking agency and a guide in Nepal
When you are planning a trip to Nepal, start doing some research about the places you prefer to visit and talk with the registered agent.
Let them know about your plan and the number of days you are supposed to spend on the trip. They will help in customizing your trip with multiple options.
In Nepal, the registered agencies are those who are the only reliable and registered companies to organize inbound and outbound trips. They are a legal agent authorized by the government to conduct trekking, hiking, tours, safari activities, etc. in Nepal.
In times of emergency, their legal documents play a vital role in quick response by the government. They are taxpayers to the government for their service to travelers.
Lots of trekkers, just follow the hotel booking in Nepal and start treks with the hotel authority, these hotels are not authorized to operate any trekking activities but they do organize them on a commission basis. Their unprofessional conduct is also one of the factors for the fatal damage to the travelers.
With these new rules, the government will strictly monitor the conduct of unauthorized agencies, and if any are found they are to face charges.
Trekking is an adventurous trip but includes high-risk factors if you are without an authorized guide.
The guide plays a vital role in the accomplishment of any trek. They are well-known about the trail and are trained by the government to deal with altitude-related problems. They have contact details of all the related agencies during an emergency.
Their expertise helps in knowing about the local culture, customs, and also the Himalayas. They are familiar with the trail and the weather conditions. In times of emergency, they are there for quick response.
Overall, they are not only guides, they are friends for trekkers, who can be lifesavers. So, keeping all these in mind the Nepal Tourism Board has taken the initiative to make TIMS Card mandatory for all trekkers from 1st April 2023.
This TIMS Card can only be obtained through the registered trekking agency in Nepal upon the guarantee that trekkers holding the TIMS Card will be trekking only with a registered trekking guide and to implement this there will be a check-point in every area of the trekking route.