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Nepal to ban solo hiking for travelers in National Parks

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Beginning next month, solo trekking will be prohibited in Nepal’s national parks, according to the country’s tourist authority, which claims that this will lower the risk for the tens of thousands of adventurers who visit the Himalayan nation each year.


The Nepal Tourist Board announced the decision last week in response to cases in which hikers went missing and often died while hiking alone, the board’s director Mani R. Lamichhane said on Tuesday.


According to Mr. Lamichhane, there have been numerous instances of tourists going missing. He claimed that fatal instances involving lone hikers had led some visitors believe Nepal to be an unsafe country.


The Kathmandu Post, an English-language daily in Nepal, first reported on the decision. The new regulations apply to all foreign visitors trekking in Nepal’s national parks, including the well-known 150-mile Annapurna Circuit, which encircles the Annapurna mountain range. But trekkers are still permitted to go on solitary walks outside national parks, such as in and around the city of Kathmandu.


According to government statistics, more than 400,000 tourists visited Nepal’s national parks in 2019 for mountaineering and trekking; roughly 46,000 of them, according to Mr. Lamichhane, went hiking alone. The top countries from which climbers came were the United States, UK, China, Germany, India, and Japan.

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