Australian newspaper The Age has taken a good look at how adventure tourism is changing in Nepal as the country undergoes political change and modernization. In this story, published over the weekend, they discuss how one of the worlds most famous treks, the Annapurna Circuit, has been altered forever by the opening of road in the region early last year.
Tourism has always been an essential part of the economy in Nepal. The colorful and vibrant city of Kathmandu held an allure to visitors from abroad, and they often spent time there exploring its temples and market places. But with recent upheaval in the capital, more and more tourists are simply passing through Kathmandu for other destinations, and when they arrive at those places, they’re finding that they have changed as well.
The article notes that a number of guide services have either shortened their Annapurna treks or eliminated them altogether. The newly constructed road that cuts a path through the region has changed the iconic trek forever, and it’s forcing adventure travelers to look elsewhere. For instance, many now trek through the Khumbu Valley, which has seen a surge in traffic in recent years with backpackers traveling up to Everest Base Camp and staying in traditional tea houses along the way.
It’s a shame that one of the world’s great treks, like the Annapurna Circuit, is being changed so dramatically, but in this day an age, a lot of countries are struggling with maintaining their natural resources but still making changes that can improve their quality of life. It’s hard to fault a country for improving it’s infrastructure, but it’s sad when it comes at the expense of such an amazing trek like this one.
[via The Adventurist]