23rd September 2015
To the Ministry of Tourism, Nepal
It has come to the attention of the Alpine Club that there is a proposal for foreign trekkers in Nepal to be required to hire at least a guide or a porter. We acknowledge the role played by local guides in bringing a deeper experience to the trek. However, we also recognise there needs to be freedom of choice, and would like the Ministry to be aware that there are a number of British trekkers who do not employ guides or porters when visiting mountain areas. We believe that if they are required to employ a guide or porter, many of these people will decide not to visit Nepal, and instead go elsewhere to trek, or for their mountaineering.
Independent trekkers bring considerable extra income to the local communities, and with Nepal currently trying to re-build its market following devastating earthquake damage, the timing of this proposal seems inappropriate. We believe that if trekkers of any nationality are able to come to Nepal without the explicit need to hire guides or porters, there will be an appreciably greater number visiting the country, and with this greater economic benefit.
Lindsay Griffin, President of the Alpine Club.