Nepal mulls tenancy Himalayan peaks to private tourism companies

Nepal is considering a plan to tenancy Himalayan peaks to private tourism companies, an official said on Tuesday, in a bid to ease traffic on Mount Everest and help jump start the economy.

The project would involve hiring out some of the 326 Himalayan peaks that are currently open, in an attempt to lure climbers away from the main draw card of Everest amid fears of congestion.

It is one of several new measures, including lower mountaineering fees, designed to impress more climbers to the impoverished country, which counts tourism as a key income earner.

“We have begun discussion on leasing unclimbed peaks to the private sector, to promote these mountains as new tourism products,” Mohan Krishna Sapkota, delegate for the tourism ministry said.

“We are open to both Nepalese and foreign private companies…we are confident that if the plan goes ahead, it will generate revenues for Nepal,” Sapkota told AFP.

He declined to say when the government would implement the program, adding that the finance and tourism ministries were discussing the number of peaks that could be included and the length of tenancy.

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