Locals who want to join overseas visitors in enjoying the country’s stunning mountains say its tourist industry gives western trekkers preferential treatment
Sandeep Poudyal at Thorong La pass, the highest point on the Annapurna circuit trek in Nepal. Photograph: Pete
s Sandeep Poudyal trudged along the last stretch of the track leading to Manang, a village in the Nepalese Himalayas overlooked by the towering Annapurna range, all he could think about was the warm bed and hot food waiting in the hotel he had booked for himself and his five Nepalese friends.
But when he arrived, after trekking for nearly nine hours, he was told the hotel was fully booked. Poudyal later learned that his rooms had been given away to foreign trekkers. Two days later, it happened again in the next village on the trail.
“How is it OK for me to get kicked out of a hotel? I booked rooms and they got cancelled because ‘better’ guests came. That is not acceptable … The whole system is geared towards foreigners. As a Nepalese [tourist] I’m seen as an unwanted guest,” says Poudyal.Read More