A provision of the Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) has been implemented to ensure the safety and security of trekkers. This system aims to control illegal trekking operations. As a trekker enters a protected area in Nepal, you will be asked to provide some information about the dates of your trip, the itinerary, and a contact number. This data will be put in the visitors’ database, where it can be accessed for park management purposes or in case of accidents or natural calamities, in order to inform the concerned institutions about the trekkers inside the park at anytime. The TIMS cards should be collected by both Free Individual Trekkers (FITs) and trekkers taking the service of government authorized trekking agencies.
Past experiences have exposed that difficulties were seen while carrying out rescue operations during times of accidents and natural calamities. Due to the lack of proper records of trekkers, rescue and search missions used to face difficulties in spot of the missing trekkers. Based on the data collected through TIMS cards, it will be possible to know the position of a trekker in case a rescue operation is needed. The provision of Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) came into effect on January 1, 2008. Since then, the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) started recording trekkers’ details and began issuing TIMS Card to trekkers.
NTB and TAAN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 18, 2010 to implement the TIMS system in a new format from April 1, 2010. NTB and TAAN 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. While you trekkers taking service from trekking agencies can pay fee for TIMS card in US dollars or NPR.
Similarly, trekkers group from SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries have to pay only Rs. 300 for the TIMS Card, while FITs (Free Individual Trekkers) from SAARC need to pay double then group Rs.600 per person.
TIMS card was not require Trekkers for the Restricted Area Trekking route but after natural calamities and other accidents taught, TIMS need for every trekkers to collect their Information, from which can help them if require.
Where and how to obtain a TIMS Card?
Free Individual Trekkers (FITs):
Free Individual Trekkers can obtain TIMS cards at the offices of Nepal Tourism Board in Bhrikutimandap Kathmandu and Gaorighat 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 fee prescribed above.
- 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:
a) Copy of Passport
b) 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.
TIMS will not be required for:
- Expedition members permitted to climb the mountains
- Visitors in the controlled areas with permits 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.