Trekking Agencies´ Association of Nepal (TAAN) has opened Trekkers´ Information Management System (TIMS) counter at Manang Plaza, Thamel.
Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Suresh Man Shrestha inaugurated the new counter amid a function on Tuesday morning.
Issuing a statement, TAAN said the new counter will save time of tourists planning to start trekking trips as trekking agencies in Nepal and foreigners can get TIMS cards in Thamel — the tourist hotspot in Kathmandu Valley — itself.
The counter will open from 7 am in the morning till 6 pm in the evening and from 10 am till 1 pm on public holidays. Both Free Individual Trekkers (FITs) and those traveling in groups can get TIMS card from the counter.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Secretary Shrestha said the new counter will facilitate foreign trekkers. “I would like to thank and congratulate TAAN for taking initiative for improving service delivery for foreign tourists. The government is a mere facilitator, private sector has to take necessary initiatives for tourism development” Shrestha said at the program, according to the statement.
According to the statement, Secretary Shrestha also promised TAAN all possible support to make TIMS more effective. He also said the government was mulling over introducing TIMS to other trekking areas of the country.
At present, TIMS has been implemented in three major trekking areas of the country — Everest Trekking Region, Langtang Trekking Region and the Annapurna Trekking Region. Foreigners traveling in groups have to pay a fee of US$ 10 each for TIMS card, while FITs need to pay $20 each. Similarly, FITs and group trekkers from SAARC countries are required to pay $6 and $3, respectively. The payments, however, should be made in Nepali currency.
TAAN President Ramesh Prasad Dhamala said TAAN would work with the government to make TIMS more effective and transparent.