If you are planning an independent trek in Nepal on or after the 1st October, where you wish to trek without a trekking agency, guide or porter then you should be aware of some new rules.
TAAN (Trekking Agency Association of Nepal) are bringing in a new rule whereby no-one is allowed to to trek anywhere in Nepal without a TRC (Trekkers Registration Certificate) and to get one you must employ a registered trekking agency and at least one of their staff for the purposes of your trek. The TRC will cost 250nrps.
TAAN has a vested interest in getting you to trek with a registered agency as they stand to make more money, create a monopoly and stamp out what they are terming as "illegal" trekking agencies. They are also saying that they are doing it for the safety of trekkers. Another view could be that they are doing it to line their own pockets and extinguish the business of independent guides, porters and to stop those that want to trek on their own, people that the agencies make no money out of.
It is yet to be seen if this will affect tourist numbers, but it seems the agency's business will go up even if the total goes down. So the people who will lose out are the independent guides, porters, tea house and lodge owners.
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