Need of Academy
Nepal is renowned all over the world as an important destination for mountain tourism. Revenue collected form mountain tourism activities contribute significantly in the total revenue earning from tourism sector in Nepal. Every year thousands of tourists are taking part in the mountain tourism activities in Nepal Roughly 40.03% of tourists coming to Nepal take part in the mountain trekking tourism activities like trekking, mountaineering, rafting etc. Total tourist arrival in the year 2009 was 509956 in the country and number i.e. 132929 tourists took part in the mountain tourism activities in 2009. There are 326 high Himalayan peaks which are opened for climbing expedition in Nepal. Out of these 326 peaks 33 peaks of comparatively lower altitudes are popularly known as trekking peaks. Government of Nepal has delegated authority for issuing climbing permits for these trekking peaks to Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). Climbing permits for remaining 293 peaks is issued by Govt. of Nepal Ministry Tourism & Civil Aviation. 236 permits were issued by the Ministry in 2009 and 1198 permits were issued by NMA in 2009 to climb these mountain peaks. All together about 9704 climbers took part in this expedition in the year 2009. Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) Has issued 70,000 TIMS cards so Mountaineering's, peaks climbing, just Trekking all Total 40,03% took part of Mountaineering, Peak, climbing and Trekking but length of staying is 5 to 10 time longer so job creation, revenue for the Country is much higher from Mountain trekking tourism. In these climbing activities number of Nepalese support climbers and guides were significant. Roughly one sirdar and one guide are employed in the trekking peaks expeditions for guiding purposes. So, last year about 2598 such people were employed by trekking peak expeditions.
In order, expeditions for which permit is issued by Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation, each team employ one sirdar and 2 to 3 support climbers for guiding purposes. So last year about 500 such people were employed by expedition teams.
Unfortunately the existing trained manpower in mountain tourism sector in Nepal is not adequate enough for providing services to the climbing expeditions appropriately.
As mentioned previously only in 2009 about 3000 to 3500 Nepalese people were employed for guiding purposes by expedition teams. But the total number of trained peoples in Nepal is not more than 1000 till now and many people out of this number might have been retired by this time. With the growth of tourism industry, much more trained peoples are needed in future.
Though the Nepalese people, especially the Sherpa's of Nepal are providing services to the climbing teams significantly as Sirdar (Head man), and High Altitude Support Climbers. But due to lack of technical knowledge, skill and efficiency they are unable to provide services as high mountain guides and for this reason expedition teams are compelled to take services of foreign high mountain guides by paying them costly fee. Though some of the Nepalese sherpas have climbed Mt. Everest for up to 20 times but they are not recognized as mountain guides, their status in the mountaineering team remains only as high altitude porters. Though the foreign climbers appreciate their services as support climbers but they can't be recognized as mountain guides because they do not have adequate training of international standard formulated by UIAGM (International Union of Alpine Mountain Guides). In order to get recognition by UIAGM as mountain guides a person has to get UIAGM prescribed training in the field of climbing (snow, ice and rock), rescue, leadership, primary health care etc. And after successful completion of this training they can get diploma as a UIAGM recognized mountain guide, which is salable universally. Till now, there is only two who has the diploma on this very expensive training. So, nobody can afford to go out of Nepal and train. No one from Nepal has got this recognition. So to establish a mountain academy of international standards in Nepal is highly needed. This can provide skilled manpower as per requirement of mountain tourism sector of Nepal. This academy will provide ample training opportunities for the people working in the field of adventure tourism as well as for the peoples willing to become high mountain guides, trekking guides as well as other manpower required in adventure tourism fields. Establishment of mountain academy of international standards in Nepal will enhance the quality of existing manpower in adventure tourism sector by increasing their skill and efficiency which will enable them to compete internationally and provide ample employment opportunities. This will lead to promotion of mountaineering in Nepal which will boost Nepalese tourism industry significantly.