KATHMANDU, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Nepalese government is preparing to open some of the restricted areas of the country in the northern bordering areas with China for foreign tourists to visit, a cabinet Minister said on Friday.
The Nepalese government had declared most of the villages in Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha, Solukhumbu, Dolakha, Rasuwa, Gorkha, Mustang, Manang, Dolpa, Mugu and Humla districts which border with China's Tibet region as restricted or controlled areas during the 1970s.
But, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Jeevan Bahadur Shahi said at a session under the Nepal Investment Summit that they were taking steps to open some of these restricted areas to boost tourism and generate more income from the sector.
Foreigners should get special permits from the Department of Immigration to travel to these restricted areas currently. The permit is not given to the individual trekker but to those who are travelling in a group through a government authorized trekking agency.
Nepal had restricted the movement of foreigners in these bordering regions after anti-China elements waged armed struggle against China through Nepali territory. In 1974, the Nepal Army had disarmed those elements known as Khampa successfully.
Nepalese trekking agencies and tour operators have long been lobbying with Nepalese government to open up these areas as they have immense potential to contribute to the country's tourism sector.