Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS)
The Government of Nepal has made some changes in existing Trekkers’ Management Information System (TIMS) provisions from April 1, 2010. As per the government decision, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) will jointly implement the TIMS.
NTB and TAAN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 18, 2010 to implement the TIMS system under a new format from April 1, 2010. As per the MoU, they have introduced separate TIMS Cards for FITs and organized groups. FITs need to have Green TIMS cards by paying Nepali currency equivalent to US $20 per person, while those travelling in groups need to have Blue TIMS cards by paying Nepali currency equivalent to US $10 per person. Trekkers taking the service of trekking agencies can pay fee for TIMS card in US dollar.
Similarly, TAAN and NTB have started distributing new TIMS cards for trekkers from the SAARC region effective from October 15, 2012. FITs from SAARC countries can get the pink-colored TIMS card by paying US$6, while group trekkers can get the card by paying US$3 or equivalent Nepali currency.
Where and how to obtain a TIMS Card
Free Individual Trekkers:
Free Individual Trekkers can obtain TIMS cards at the offices of Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu and Pokhara, TAAN Secretariat at Maligaon and TAAN Pokhara Secretariat in Pokhara upon filling the TIMS application firm.
Trekking companies will collect trekkers’ data and enter it in the central database and will provide trekkers with a TIMS card after paying the fee prescribed above.
TIMS Card is compulsory to trek in all the trekking areas in the country. However, TIMS cards aren’t required for following:
- Expedition members with mountaineering permits issued by the government and Nepal Mountaineering Association.
- Visitors to controlled areas having permits issued by the Department of Immigration
- Foreign guests invited by the Government of Nepal
- Authorities from the various diplomatic missions present in the country, who hold official letter/s and travel at their own risk
- Visitors on certain missions recommended by the concerned Governmental Department(s)
- Foreign Nationals possessing a residential visa.
- TIMS counter at TAAN follows regular working hours (10am-5pm) and 365 days a year
- NTB Offices follow government working hours and days.
- Trekking agencies open 12 hours a day seven days a week.
To obtain TIMS Card you need copy of:
- two (2) Passport-size Photographs.
Why is TIMS Necessary?
The following considerations have been taken into account in the process of issuing TIMS:
All important details regarding trekkers and trekking routes shall be maintained in a computerized Database Management System, which can be useful for the trekkers’ safety and security. In order 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 concerned stakeholders such as tourism organizations, Government agencies, diplomatic missions, tour operators, research institute, etc.
Unauthorized trekking operations will be controlled, thus, resulting in better management of trekking services, which will not only benefit trekkers and field staff, but also trekking companies and Government agencies. Occasional untoward incidents will also be better prevented. Plus, TIMS will upgrade the service standard and will contribute to better management of sustainable mountain tourism development in Nepal.
Revenue collected from distribution of TIMS cards is shared into three equal parts for following purposes:
1. Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) will use the first part for printing TIMS cards, holograms, managing issuing counters and use the remaining amount for tourism marketing, publicity and promotion.
2. The second part is utilized in the welfare of trekking workers like buying medical and accident insurance policy for them and conducting rescue operations in case of accidents. The amount is also used to launch various programs as a part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and meet administrative expenses.
3. The third part is utilized to develop infrastructures, promote, conserve, maintain trekking trails. A substantial amount is also utilized to explore, develop and promote new destinations besides organizing training and workshops for sustainable and responsible tourism development.