Nepal is considering private sector help to promote mountaineering tourism, authorities said on Wednesday.
“With the help of the private sector, we’d like to see how we can develop new mountains as tourism destinations, as well as promote ones that are already open to climbers,” Tourism Ministry spokesman Mohan Krishna Sapkota said. Nepal has 310 peaks open to climbers, but lucrative trekking and climbing tourism is focused on famous peaks such as Everest and Annapurna.
“Some mountains that are open to tourists have no activities going on as they receive little attention,” Sapkota said.
All mountaineering licences and expeditions are currently handled by the state. The idea of putting out tenders for private management of some areas was floated by an expert committee last year.
Nepal last month slashed climbing fees for individuals to encourage smaller groups and prevent large crowds on the mountain slopes.
More than 3,000 people have scaled the world’s highest mountain since Edumund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first climbed it in 1953.