[ti:Nepal Reopens to Foreign Mountain Climbers]
[00:00.04]Nepal says it is reopening to foreign visitors
[00:05.20]seeking to climb and trek the country's famous mountains.
[00:12.40]The country has been closed to foreign visitors
[00:16.52]for the past seven months because of the coronavirus crisis.
[00:24.32]Nepal's tourism industry has suffered as a result of the restriction.
[00:32.48]The industry employs an estimated 800,000 people.
[00:39.36]Nepal is home to eight of the 14 highest mountains in the world
[00:45.60]-- including the tallest, Mount Everest.
[00:51.04]Rudra Singh Tamang is director general of Nepal's Department of Tourism.
[00:59.04]He told The Associated Press that only mountaineers and trekkers
[01:05.08]who have received a permit to take part in such activities
[01:10.04]would be let into the country.
[01:12.56]"We are opening to a sector of visitors
[01:16.72]who we know we can handle and manage."
[01:21.76]The visitors will no longer be able to get a visa upon arrival to Nepal.
[01:29.84]They will be required to provide details of their trip
[01:34.68]before they arrive and receive government approval.
[01:40.60]The visitors must employ local equipment companies
[01:45.28]and prove that they have health insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment.
[01:54.36]Visitors will also be required to take a coronavirus test
[02:00.48]before leaving their home country.
[02:05.04]They must also stay for a week in quarantine at a hotel in Nepal.
[02:13.28]Visitors must then pass another coronavirus test
[02:18.08]before they are permitted to go up the mountains.
[02:23.36]Local workers supporting mountaineering teams
[02:27.60]will also be required to take coronavirus tests
[02:32.36]and prove they have been living in areas
[02:36.16]with no infections for the past two weeks.
[02:41.44]"We are trying to revive the tourism industry
[02:45.72]that was badly hit by the pandemic,
[02:48.80]but we are not taking any chances or any risks," Tamang said.
[02:56.80]The spring season is when foreign mountain climbers
[03:00.96]come to Nepal to attempt to reach the highest peaks.
[03:07.28]The autumn season is a popular time for foreign visitors
[03:12.16]coming to trek mountain trails.
[03:16.16]This year's spring mountaineering season
[03:19.36]was canceled in March because of the pandemic.
[03:25.16]Nepal has reported 176,500 coronavirus infections and 984 deaths.
[03:38.60]The nation is running short on hospital beds.
[03:43.68]The government has asked patients
[03:46.44]with less than life-threatening cases to stay at home in quarantine.
[03:53.96]The pandemic hit as Nepal was preparing
[03:57.96]to double the number of tourist arrivals.
[04:02.88]A government campaign had declared 2020 as the "Visit Nepal" year.
[04:11.52]People in the mountains have been hardest hit.
[04:15.00]Workers normally depend on the busy spring and fall seasons
[04:20.92]to make enough money to last them all year.
[04:26.04]Earlier this fall season, a team of mountaineers from Bahrain
[04:31.80]was given special permission to climb Mount Lobuche and Mount Manaslu.
[04:39.60]The climbs were permitted as a test of the new visitor rules.
[04:46.92]Tamang said the country's mountaineering community
[04:50.96]welcomed Nepal's decision to reopen to some visitors.
[04:57.24]"We need to give a small ray of hope
[05:00.68]to the people in the adventure tourism industry
[05:04.60]that there is still a future somewhere to look forward to," Tamang said.
[05:12.28]Ang Tshering Sherpa heads local mountaineering company
[05:17.24]Asian Trekking in Kathmandu.
[05:21.24]He told The Associated Press, "We in the adventure tourism industry
[05:27.24]are very excited that the country is finally open."
[05:32.92]He added that his company had already begun receiving calls
[05:38.48]from foreign visitors who would like to come to Nepal.
[05:43.52]He said there is great interest in the spring
[05:46.92]2021 climbing season, especially for Mount Everest.
[05:53.48]I'm Bryan Lynn. 更多听力请访问51VOA.COM