For safety all trekkers in Nepal must acquire the Trekkers Information Management Systems (TIMS Card) before trekking. TIMS Card is mandatory to ensure the safety and security of trekkers in the general trekking areas. Travel insurance is essential to acquire permission for trekking in Nepal and for obtaining the TIMS Card.
Fees, passport copy, and passport size photographs are required to obtain Trekkers Information Management Systems card from Tourist Service Center, Bhrikutimandap, and Trekking Agencies’ Association Nepal (TAAN) Office in Maligaon and Government registered trekking companies in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Trekkers Information Management Systems card can also be obtained from TIMS Counter at NTB Regional Office in Pokhara.
TIMS Card fees are as follows – Group trekker: NRs. 1,000; Free individual trekker (FIT): NRs. 2,000, per trekking route per person per entry.
For SAARC countries TIMS Card fees are as follows – Group trekker: NRs. 300; FITs: NRs. 600, per trekking route per person per entry. Part of the collection will go into maintaining the trekkers’ database and in the rescue of trekkers in need of emergency services.
Diplomats are not charged for the card.
TIMS Counter office hours at Tourist Service Center, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu, are from 10 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week. The counter remains open on Saturdays and public holidays too.
It must be noted that the Trekkers Information Management Systems card is non-transferable and non-endorsable. In addition, it is also valid for one entry and only in the prescribed trekking area. The validity of the Trekkers Information Management Systems card is also only for the duration indicated by the trekker during application.
Obtaining a Trekkers Information Management Systems card may not be particularly bothersome for organized trekkers, but it is a bit of a hassle for free individual trekkers. Nevertheless, the fees are minimal and the application for a TIMS card is quite straightforward, so the cons certainly outweigh the pros. By being part of the TIMS database, a trekker is afforded with more assistance and security while trekking. In case of untoward incidents, TIMS-registered trekkers are easier to find and rescue.
The provision for the Trekkers’ Information Management Systems is without a doubt a great move on the part of the government of Nepal. After all, not only does the TIMS database serve the interests of trekkers and trekking agencies, but it also helps the government in regulating trekking tourism within the country.