Nepal Spirit Adventure team happy to explain about TIMS CARDS information in the following;
Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) has been implemented jointly by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) to ensure safety and security of trekkers and to control illegal trekking operations. Trekking companies will be asked to furnish personal information of trekkers like their passport numbers, nationality and their contact address and their itinerary. The data will be uploaded in visitors’ database which can be accessed in case of accidents and/or natural calamities in order to inform the concerned institutions about the number of trekkers inside a certain trekking area. TIMS cards should be collected by both Free Individual Trekkers (FITs) and trekkers taking the service of government authorized trekking agencies.
Past experiences have revealed that difficulties were seen while carrying out rescue operations during times of accidents and natural calamities. Due to the lack of proper record system of trekkers, rescue and search missions used to face difficulties in spotting the missing trekkers. Based on the data collected through TIMS cards, however, 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.
As per the recent MoU signed by NTB and TAAN, TIMS card is applicable in all trekking areas of the country including restricted areas. Group trekkers will have to pay Blue TIMS cards by paying a fee of Rs 1,000 per person, while FITs have to get Green TIMS cards by paying a fee of Rs 2,000. Similarly, group trekkers from SAARC countries have to pay Rs 300 for TIMS cards, while FITs from the SAARC region have to pay Rs 600 each.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Where and how to obtain a TIMS Card:
Free Individual Trekkers:
Free Individual Trekkers can obtain TIMS cards from TAAN Pokhara Secretariat in Pokhara, and the offices of Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu and Pokhara, upon filling up TIMS application form.
Organized trekkers can obtain TIMS cards from TAAN Secretariat in Maligaun, TAAN TIMS Counter in Saatghumti, Thamel, and TAAN Pokhara Secretariat in Pokhara
TIMS Card is compulsory to trek in all 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 Secretariat follows regular working hours (10am-5pm). It is closed on Saturdays and public holidays.
- TIMS Counter at Saatghumti, Thamel opens at 7 am and closes at 6 pm. On Saturdays and public holidays, however, the counter opens from 10 am to 1 pm.
- Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) follows government working hours i.e. 10 am till 5 pm. It, however, is closed on Saturdays and public holidays.
- Copy of Passport
- Two passport (PP) size photographs
- Detailed Itinerary