KATHMANDU, Aug 19: The government has decided to put its decision to ban independent trekking on hold until further notice. It had earlier decided to make support staff mandatory for independent trekkers, citing trekkers´ safety.
Issuing a notice, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation with approval from the home ministry said the ban on solo trekking has been lifted under the next notice.
"The ministry will come up with new decision on the issue after holding discussions with concerned stakeholders," the notice states.
Trekking agencies, who have been lobbying hard for the ban on solo trekking, have welcomed the decision. They said the ban won´t be necessary if the government ensure security in all trekking routes.
Mohan Lamsal, general secretary of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), said the industry was hopeful that the new decision would be more effective as it was coming from the concerned ministry. "We have been told that government is holding consultation with stakeholders to ensure that tourists have comfortable stay in Nepal, which is a positive step," he added.