Pakistan Peak Fees Cut

Press Release: Pakistan Mountaineering peak fees cut in halfBy Greg Mortenson and Asem Mustafa Islamabad January 16, 2002 Pakistan?s Federal Minister for Tourism Col. S.K Tressler announced a 50% reduction in peak fee royalties for mountaineering expeditions in 2002. The announcement is in the wake of a beleaguered tourism industry, affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Pakistan hopes to encourage mountaineers and trekkers to visit Pakistan during the ?Year of the Mountain 2002?. Currently, less than 5 mountaineering bookings are still confirmed for 2002, according to Mr. Ayub Afridi, Ministry of Tourism public relations director. In 2001, Pakistan received a record 74 mountaineering expeditions (above 6,000 meters or in restricted or closed zones) with 453 climbers. The royalty revenue from these expeditions totalled $ 555,305. There was also a record 245 registered treks with 1,319 trekkers who entered restricted areas, primarily the Baltoro glacier up to K2. The revenue from trekking fees was $ 67,420. Some Pakistan a risky place to climb. However, it is important to note that in the last four decades over 250 climbers and trekkers have died in Pakistan?s mountains of accidents, injuries and illness. In the same period, only three foreigners have been murdered. Ned Gillette was killed on August 4, 1999 in Haramosh valley www.outsidemag.com/magazine/1198/9811dispgillette.html. On April 27, 2001, two Czech budget hikers Gabriella Gubicova and her friend Petr Polasek, were murdered in Gupis, near Gilgit (Petr?s body has not been found, but believed to have been murdered) http://petrmissing.com/c03eng.htm. Both Gillette and the Czech trekkers were traveling without local guides or porters. Pakistan?s reduced Peak fees for 2002 are: K2 (8,611 meters): US $6,000 and US $3,000 for each additional member over seven 8,001 – 8,500 meters: US $4,750 and US $1,000 for each additional member over seven 7,501 – 8,000 meters: US $2,000 and US $500 for each additional member over seven 7,001 – 7,500 meters: US $1,250 and US $300 for each additional member over seven 6,000 – 7,000 meters: US $750 and US $200 for each additional member over seven Under 6,000 meters: No permit needed in open zones. Trekking fees due if permit is in restricted or closed zones. Generally, permits are issued before December 31st the year before the expedition occurs. Peak royalty fees must first be deposited in a Pakistan embassy or with the Ministry. However, this year latecomers will be accommodated. Peak royalty fees are reduced and pro-rated if any expedition members are Pakistani citizens. All foreign expeditions must provide Pakistan´s Ministry of Tourism with evidence of $20,000 evacuation insurance or guarantee of a $6,000 bond deposited with Askari Aviation www.askariaviation.com, an embassy, Pakistan tour operator, or traveler´s checks held in lieu with the Ministry. In 2001, life insurance for porters doubled to Pakistan Rupees 100,000 (about $1,640). Trekking fees remain $40 per person since 1999. Trekking and climbing permits must be obtained through a licensed Pakistani tour operator, but do not need advance registration. Permits can be obtained in one day in Islamabad. The Ministry moved in 2000 to the Sport complex in Islamabad on Shahra-e-Kashmir road. The Ministry is open Monday – Friday 8AM ? 4PM, half days on Saturday and closed on Sundays. Mr. Ayub Afridi Public Relations Director Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture Sports Complex Building near Abbpara market Islamabad, Pakistan Phone: 011 – 92 – 251 – 9203509 Fax: 011 – 92 – 251 ? 9202347 Web:http://www.tourism.gov.pk/ministry_of_tourism.html