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Thread: Trekking Registration Certificate & the Independent Trekker

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Trekking Registration Certificate & the Independent Trekker

    Has anyone here got any good information on the Trekking Registration Certificate? All I can find is a couple of press releases from TAAN...

    http://www.taan.org.np/news_details1.php?nid=274
    Quote Originally Posted by TAAN 20/7/2006
    The government has decided to implement the much-awaited Trekking Registration Certificate (TRC) through Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN). TAAN had been demanding for the implementation of TRC to check illegal operations in the trekking industry.
    Sounds like the intention is to stop the illegal unregistered tourist agencies, and to establish a central registration of all trekkers. Which is fair enough

    http://www.taan.org.np/news_details1.php?nid=283
    Quote Originally Posted by TAAN 26/7/2006
    As demanded by TAAN, the Nepal Government has introduced the provision of TRC to help control various anomalies, including illegal operation. TRC is likely to come into effect from the last week of September this year. With the implementation of TRC, the visiting trekkers must go on trekking through the registered Nepalese trekking agencies and pay a small amount of money.
    What does this mean for the independent trekker? Is this an effort to make a proper record of who is on the trails (for safety reasons) and to regulate the trekking industry (for commercial reasons)? Or will this mean that all trekking *must* be done via a TAAN agency and we are required to employ guides or go with a group? How will this be implemented, from the details of the restrictions & requirements to the cost of the certificate and services etc.

    Unfortunately we don't know yet. This is due to be implemented at the end of September and we there have been no proper announcements other than the TAAN press releases. Apparently the NTB say independent teahouse trekking will be OK, but TAAN say otherwise, so whom are we to believe? Which government office decided to pass these regulations?

    I have written to both TAAN & NTB to seek some clarification on TRC and its implications for me and the likes of us, I'll report here what they have to say. And if any of you find more info elsewhere on the net then please post links in this thread. I'd also like to hear from any of the Nepali trekking people who frequent this forum, both from TAAN agencies and also the independent guides who like to work with us independent trekkers, we'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on TRC an what it means for you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Trekking Registration Certificate & the Independent Trekker

    Oli

    This is the response from NTB to my question of what independent trekkers need to do. My question to them is below.


    "Dear Mr. Wayne,

    It is not necessary for Independent trekkers to go through trekking agencies. However, one has to register with Trekking Agents Association of Nepal before embarking trekking paying a very nominal charge.

    Rgs,

    Sarad Pradhan"

    At 02:51 PM 8/19/2006, you wrote:

    As a regular visitor to Nepal in recent years I am surprised to hear yet another certificate will be required to trek. Please tell me if independent trekkers will still be able to trek without using a trekking agency and needing to obtain this certificate ?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Trekking Registration Certificate & the Independent Trekker

    Thanks Boulia. That is pretty much what the NTB told thesilvertops, but Rajendra (Third Pole Trekking, IIRC) says that is "none sense" and "Trekkers have to join with the company". [see this thread on Yetizone]

    So it seems to me that TAAN and NTB disagree on the TRC, and it doesn't help that they are giving us conflicting advice. Well, sort of, neither of them have answered my email.

    As it happens I'm considering hiring a guide & porter for a Langtang teahouse trek next spring - but I'm loathe to go with any agency who tell me I have to use their services when actually I don't. Oh well. I expect it'll all work out in the end.

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    Default update

    I've had an email from NTB, who say "There is no need to take the service of a porter or a guide against your wish especially in areas that have tea houses along the trekking trail." - and reiterated that point, including use of italics for emphasis.

    And I've had a couple of emails from someone via TAAN, but they didn't contain any useful into.

    Also Andrees found this statement, which says (amongst other fluff) that the TRC will cost trekkers 250NRs, a token amount, but I am sure it'll cost a whole lot more to implement.

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    Default Re: Trekking Registration Certificate & the Independent Trekker

    I got the same information and impressions as Oli and Boulia. There is still a lot to be understood in terms of how this policy is going to pan out. The good news from the trekkers perspective is that they can still trek independently if they wish.
    The move appears to be aimed at stamping out independent guides/porters, and driving trekkers towards the "registered trekking agencies".
    This would be a big blow to competitiveness, in my opinion.

    The full implications are not very clear. I believe Oli has asked some hard questions, or someone...
    For example what about deciding in Namche, or Chame or wherever, that I need a guide, or a porter? Who in his right mind will be able to force me and police me that that person is registered with a trekking agency? We know they won't be. Not unless Nepal becomes as efficient as Switzerland all of a sudden. Big heffers do fly, we all know that. On the other hand, just having a guide, and pretending he's not your guide until you get past the check point... (I assume there will be one, and I assume they will not stop the flow of Nepalis "going about their business"...). There are all sorts of situations. There will be some corruption of officials at checking points (again, assuming there will be check points).
    I will not be stopped by some official I can bribe with 500 rupees to let me go through with my guide, anymore than I was stopped by the Maoists demanding money. I know others have higher morals and standards and I agree to disagree.

    Most probably, big trekking agencies will benefit, first-timers may well flock to them in greater numbers.

    But the system will be fairly porous and people who know their stuff will still go about their buisness the way they have done it in the past.
    yakshaver

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    Default Re: Trekking Registration Certificate & the Independent Trekker

    Hi,
    Please see answer from TAAN for my question regarding independent trek (witout guide/porter).

    rgds
    daras

    ::: answer from TAAN ::: 28.09.2006 :::

    Dear Mr. Darek,
    Trekking rules of Nepal has been recently changed so please read the file
    attached herewith throughly before you visit Nepal. I think this document
    will be helpful to you.

    Regards
    Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN)


    Nepal Government assigns TAAN to implement

    Trekking Registration Certificate (TRC)




    Registration Required for trekkers


    With a view to checking illegal operations in the trekking business and
    ensuring safety and security of trekkers, the Nepal Government has
    introduced a new rule that requires all trekkers to go on trekking in
    various parts of the country only through registered trekking agencies after
    having a Trekking Registration Certificate (TRC) from Trekking Agents
    Association of Nepal (TAAN). As an umbrella organization of more than 550
    registered trekking companies of Nepal, TAAN has been authorized by the
    Nepal Government to issue TRC and the new rule is scheduled to come into
    force from October 1, 2006. TAAN will charge a minimum amount of money as
    administrative and service fee for issuing TRC. As a record of trekkers, TRC
    incorporates their personal details, trekking routes, duration, etc. The
    provision is introduced in order to upgrade the service standard and for
    better management of sustainable mountain tourism development in Nepal.
    Trekking without TRC is illegal and subject to charge fines and other
    punishments in accordance with the laws of the Nepal Government.


    Importance and Necessity of TRC


    It is very important to have a kind of monitoring and facilitating system in
    place for any sort of outdoor activity that involves physical risk. Trekking
    is a major outdoor activity in Nepal's mountain tourism. Given the rugged
    physical condition and remoteness of almost all trekking areas of Nepal's
    Himalayan mountain region, a record system is very essential that would be
    helpful in monitoring the safety and security of trekkers. The past
    experiences have shown that difficulties have been faced while carrying out
    rescue operations promptly during the times of natural calamities. Because
    of lack of proper record system of trekkers, their exact whereabouts and the
    information about trekking routes, rescue and search missions used to face
    difficulties in spotting the trekkers missing.


    The Nepal Government is very serious about implementing TRC as a mechanism
    to control all sorts of anomaly, including illegal operations, and ensure
    safety and security of trekkers. Therefore, TAAN, as a national tourism
    organization working in the field of sustainable mountain tourism in Nepal,
    has been entrusted with the responsibility of implementing TRC. As per TAAN'
    s proposed hassle-free procedure, TRC is being issued to each and every
    trekker traveling only through the registered trekking agencies.



    The decision regarding the introduction of TRC is a welcome step taken in
    its policies and programmes by the Nepal Government. So, TAAN is in the
    process of developing a well-managed and efficient system with nominal
    service charge of Nepali rupees 250 (equivalent US$ 3.5 only) to implement
    TRC in the open trekking areas of Nepal. TRC is going to be issued from
    convenient locations of Kathmandu and Pokhara.









    TRC Issuing System

    The following considerations have been taken into account in the process of
    issuing TRC:



    1. All important details of trekkers and trekking routes will be maintained
    on a computerized record system that may be useful for safety and security
    of trekkers and field-staff.



    2. The data generated from the system will be useful to all stakeholders --
    tourism organizations, government agencies, diplomatic missions, tour
    operators, research institutes, etc.



    3. Unauthorized trekking operations will be controlled, thus, resulting into
    better management of trekking service and in benefit of all concerned -
    trekkers, agencies, field - staff, government, etc. and also occasional
    untoward incidents will be better prevented.



    4. TAAN will be able to work more in its effort of preservation of natural
    and cultural environment in cooperation with local communities. This, in
    turn, will enable to promote sustainable tourism.



    5. The issue of TRC will be so simplified that it would be prompt and
    inexpensive. The convenient TRC counter in Kathmandu will remain open 12
    hours a day all the seven days a week round the year. Pokhara counter will
    be opened for 9 hours a day. The TRC counters will be located close to the
    counters of the National Parks and Conservation Areas.



    6. TAAN's Media Centre will have updated information about the conditions of
    trails and other relevant insights into the trekking areas. The same
    information also will be updated frequently in the TAAN's web page. Some of
    the check posts along the trekking routes will be equipped with telephone
    services by TAAN.



    Appeal

    All the concerned government agencies have been requested to provide
    required cooperation to TAAN in TRC implementation and monitoring process.
    While developing the TRC issuance mechanism, TAAN has made it sure that a
    well organized efficient system is developed. Any inconvenience that may
    arise due to implementation of this new rule is regretted.


    TAAN also asks all concerned stakeholders to help disseminate the
    information to potential trekkers to Nepal and other related offices and
    agencies.


    Thank you for your kind support and cooperation.



    For further information, please contact at TAAN Media Centre

    P.O. Box: 3612 Ganeshthan, Maligaon, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Tel: 977-1-442773, 977-1-4440920, 977-1-4440921, Fax: 977-1-4419245

    Email:taan@wlink.com.np; taan@mail.com.np Url: www.taan.org.np

  7. #7
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    Default useful stuff

    Thanks daras, this is very useful.
    yakshaver

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Trekking Registration Certificate & the Independent Trekker

    So, I'm not sure I get this 100%, I am going to Nepal this fall to do some volunteer work in the chitwan region until mid november. Then I was planning on doing the EBC/Gokyo trek on my own. What "papers" will I need in order to be okay?
    I can get the park entrance permit while walking from lukla to namche I think, or anywyas, I can't miss the checkpoint I was told. But now I will need to get another paper before getting to lukla?

    Someone please simplify this to me please?

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Trekking Registration Certificate & the Independent Trekker

    I think that not being able to simplify the exact requirements is the point. There is conflicting information coming out of Nepal, it is still ambiguous and many of us are waiting to see what happens.

    What is clear is that you need a new certificate - the TRC certificate - for a nominal charge of 250nrps to trek anywhere after the 1st October. These will be issued by registered trekking agencies.

    What isn't clear is whether you will be able to trek on your own in the areas that you currently can. TAAN are saying that you can ONLY trek with a registered trekking agency in all areas. Whereas NTB are saying that you can still trek independently in Annapurna, Langtang and Khumbu but still need to have the TRC certificate.

    They are contradicting each other at the moment but bear in mind that TAAN have a vested financial interest in getting you to trek with them therefore they would say what they are saying to drum up more business.

    My personal view (and that is all it is) is that you can still trek independently with a TRC certificate and TAAN are telling lies. If it turns out that that is the case then I think they will do their business and reputation some damage. They have so far not managed to provide an answer to NTB's statement which categorically states that you can trek independently. NTB have no vested reason to state anything but the truth. The jury is still out.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Trekking Registration Certificate & the Independent Trekker

    Thanks daras. Someone at TAAN sent me this also. I think its a standard response that they are sending out to anyone who asks about TRC. But it didn't really answer my question(s) so I'm continuing to ask for more clarification.

    And yes Toaster, this is a bit confusing and disorgansied. The main point is that you'll need an extra bit of paperwork and 'registration' from a TAAN agency. This is in addition to the Park entry ticket and has to be got in Kathmandu before you leave.
    The thing that is unclear is whether you'll be expected to hire a guide & porter from that agency - TAAN say you do but NTB say you do not. They'll probably have decided policy by min-Nov, but be aware that the touts will most likely be overstating the requirements for their own commercial gain.

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