Nepal has lowered permit fee for Mt Everest by nearly 50 percent.
Issuing a notice on the Nepal Gazette on February 12, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) also introduced separate permit fee for Nepali and foreign climbers. The government so far had been levying same permit fee for Nepali and foreign climbers. The new permit fee for Nepali climbers came into effect from February 12 itself. The fee for foreign climbers, however, will come into effect from January 1, 2015.
As per the new fee structure, foreign climbers will have to pay US$ 11,000 per person as permit fee for normal route (South East Ridge) in the spring season. So far, foreign climbers have been paying $25,000 per person. Similarly, permit fee for other routes has been fixed at $10,000. Existing permit fee for normal route is $15,000 per person.
At present the government charges $25,000 for one climber, $40,000 for two climber$48,000 for three climbers, $56,000 for four climbers, $60,000 for five climbers, $66,000 for six climbers and $70 climbers for seven climbers. For expedition peaks having more than seven members, permit fee of $10,000 per person for each extra climbers. An expedition can have a maximum of 15 members.
The government has eliminated the group royalty system. Now, expedition teams have to pay permit fee of $11,000 per person regardless of the number of climbers.
Permit fee for Nepali climbers for normal route has been fixed at Rs 75,000 per person. For other routes, the fee has been fixed at Rs 60,000.
The government reduced the royalty fee as per the recommendations of a committee headed by Purna Chandra Bhattarai, joint secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
The government has also introduced new permit fee for other mountain peaks. According to the notice, permit fee of $1,800 has been fixed for mountains above 8,000 meters except Mt Everest. Similarly, permit fee of $600 has been fixed for mountains of 7,501 to 7,999 meters, $500 for mountains 7,001 to 7,500 meters, $500 for mountains of 6,501 to 6,999 meters and $250 for mountains below 6,500 meters. Permit fee for Amadablam has been fixed at $400 per person
Of the 1,792 mountains identified in Nepal, only 326 have been opened for commercial expedition. Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) issues permit for 33 of the 326 mountains opened for expedition.