Government reduces mountaineering royalty fee
The government reduced royalty fees for foreigners climbing all the mountains including Mt Everest to almost half.
The royalty fee for mountaineers climbing Mt Everest from the normal route – also popularly known as the South East Ridge – to $11,000 per person effective from January 1, 2015. Earlier, the foreign climbers had to pay as high as $25,000 per person to climb the Mt Everest. Similarly, $ 10,000 has been fixed for a climber climbing Everest from other routes.
Likewise, the foreign climbers need to pay royalty fee between $70 and $1,800 per person depending on the height of the mountains they are climbing.
Earlier, expedition teams had to pay permit fee between $15,000 and $70,000 per expedition depending on the route and the number of members. A group could have a maximum of seven members and extra members were charged $10,000 each. Expedition to Mt Everest could have a maximum of 15 members.
Though, the environmentalists have been asking the government to slowdown the heavy traffic to the top of the world as it has created adverse impact to the environment and the highest peak of the world, the move is aimed at benefiting the individual climbers, as the government has eliminated the existing group royalty system.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the government reduced the royalty fee based on the suggestion of a committee that it formed last year to recommend revision in mountaineering royalty fee.
The revised royalty fee has been published in the Nepal Gazette today.
The government on July 16, 2013, had completely waived off royalty fee for climbers for peaks located in the mid-and-far western development region for five years to promote the new peaks and western part of the country.
The government is also planning to implement 'one climber, one guide' considering the safety of the climbers.
Similarly, the government for the first time has introduced separate mountaineering royalty fee for Nepali climbers. Now, Nepali climbers can pay permit fee in local currency. Earlier, they were required to pay in the US dollar. According to the new rule, Nepali climbers have to pay between Rs 1,000 and Rs 75,000 per person permit fee depending on the height, route and the climbing season. The new royalty fee structure for Nepali climbers will be effective from February 13.
They can also apply to the government for royalty waiver. The government has simplified the procedure for royalty waiver too.
Earlier, most of the Nepali climbers climbed Mt Everest as mountain guides due to higher royalty fee.
The government has been collecting more than Rs 240 million in mountaineering royalty, annually.