Main Image Via National Geographic Society
Anyone caught breaking tourism laws could be banned from entering Nepal for up to five years, or from mountaineering in the country for ten years.
The new rule is simply a reworded version of existing guidelines, aimed at safeguarding Nepal's "security and reputation."
According to Mira Acharya, director of the Department of Tourism, “Climbers are free to take photos and videos of their expedition and team members, but they cannot take photos and videos of other things that may cause controversy and hurt national integrity and social harmony.
“In the past many climbers have told us that they were unaware of the rules so we had to excuse their violations. By issuing this notice, we’re making sure that expedition teams, operators and members are informed of rules and regulations before they start their expedition.”
While the government has justified the new protocols by claiming that they would improve expedite management, critics say they are an effort to contain negative publicity following the viral picture of the traffic jam at the top of the mountain.
An Indian news broadcast showing videos from Everest caught Nepali authorities off guard earlier this year. In the video, the anchor can be seen in a helicopter flying over the top, arguing for India's claim to the world's highest mountain. After Nepalis criticised his claims, the anchor later apologised. Later, it was discovered that he had not received permission to film in the region.
Info Via Vice