Tiny and beautiful with friendly people, Nepal, aptly, has been called 'a Trekkers' Paradise'. It's high standing mountains, scenic hills and the luxuriant Terai offers some of the most spectacular trekking routes in the world. Passing through the diverse culture and nature, trekking in Nepal is a life-time experience which involves a certain degree of physical risks owing to the rugged topography.
With the distinction of Nepal as a trekking destination and its growing charm, a provision of Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) has been implemented to control illegal trekking operations and ensure safety and security of the trekkers in general trekking areas through the mechanism of Prompt Information Service as and when required.
The past experiences have shown that difficulties have been faced while carrying out rescue operations promptly during the times of accidents and 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 provision of Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) has come into force from Jan 01, 2008. Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) have started recording trekkers detail and issuing TIMS Card to trekkers as per the new provision, trekkers are required to take TIMS Card from Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) before starting their trek. Trekkers traveling in groups or Solo joining with Registered trekking Agency can get the TIMS card upon paying a fee of Nepali currency equivalent to US $10 each while those preferring to travel individually (FITs) without joining trekking Agency need to pay Nepali currency equivalent to $20. You need copy of Passport and two copies of Passport-size Photographs as well.
Where & how to obtain TIMS Card?
The visiting tourists, who are interested to general trekking areas of Nepal, are required to receive TIMS Card through any one of the following:
1. Kathmandu (NTB Office, TAAN Office, and Government registered trekking Companies), and
2. Pokhara (NTB Office, TAAN Office, and Government registered trekking Companies)
3. Opening Hour/s: TIMS counter at Government registered trekking Companies will remain open 12 hours a day all the seven days a week round the year,
4. TIMS counter at TAAN/NTB Office will follow government working hour/days.
5. To obtain TIMS Card you need copy of Passport and two copies of Passport-size Photographs.
Why is TIMS Necessary?
The following considerations have been taken into account in the process of issuing TIMS:
1. All important details of trekkers and trekking routes shall be maintained on a computerized Database Management System that may be useful for safety and security of trekkers. To help carry out search and rescue operations for trekkers in case of natural calamities and other accidents by means of Authentic Information Service . To maintain a record system that includes personal details of trekkers, trekking area, trekking routes, handling agencies, duration, etc. The data generated from the system will be useful to all stakeholders: - tourism organizations, Government agencies, diplomatic missions, tour operators, research institute, etc.
2. 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.
3. To upgrade the service standard and contribute for better management of sustainable mountain tourism development of Nepal.
TIMS REGULATORY PROVISIONS:
1. Every trekker has to compulsorily obtain a TIMS Card before they enter any of the prescribed trekking regions and routes.
2. A Free individual trekker (FIT) or organized group trekkers are required to keep TIMS along with them throughout their treks.
3. TIMS has to be shown to TAAN / NTB authorities, national park check posts, conservation area check posts and police check posts on demand.
4. Trekkers are required to keep their copies of passports along with them for verification during trekking.
5. TIMS shall be non-transferable, non-endorsable and valid only for single entry.
TIMS will not be required for:
1. The expedition members permitted to climb the mountains.
2. The visitors in the controlled areas permitted by the Department of Immigration.
3. The foreign guests invited by the Government of Nepal.
4. The authorities from different diplomatic missions in the country, who is holding official letter/s and traveling, own risk.
5. Visitors on certain mission recommended by the concerned department of the Government.
6. Foreign Nationals having the residential visa.