Nepal Extends Everest Permits for Climbers Affected by Earthquake
Nepal has decided to extend the free permits for foreigners prevented from climbing Mount Everest by last year’s earthquakes.
More than 800 foreign climbers had paid up to $11,000 for permits for expeditions canceled after quakes in April and May 2015.
Climbers who missed out will be able to use the same permit for 2016 and 2017.
At least 19 people were killed on Everest in avalanches triggered by April’s quake.
Nearly 9,000 people died across the country in the two quakes.
“The government has decided to extend permits for two years in order to compensate those climbers who could not continue their expeditions due to the earthquake,” tourism department chief Gobinda Bahadur Karki was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.
Nepal is eager to boost its flagging tourism industry ahead of the climbing season which starts later this month.
Hiking officials say foreign bookings have sharply declined.
Nepal’s infrastructure was badly hit by the quakes, while a protracted transport blockade along the border with India has further hit supplies of fuel and equipment.