China bans non-climbers from Mount Everest base camp

16th February, 2019 09:51:19 printer

BEIJING: China has banned tourists from accessing its Mount Everest base camp in Tibet amid an ongoing campaign to clean up trash in the mountainous region, said state media Friday, reports AFP.

The ban applies to “ordinary tourists”, not those with climbing permits, reported official news agency Xinhua. Access will be closed from areas above the Rongpo Monastery, which is about 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) above sea level, said the report, citing remarks from Kelsang, the deputy director at the nature reserve.

A new camp for visitors will be set up about two kilometres from the original one, reported Xinhua.

The Everest region, part of which belongs to neighbouring Nepal, has seen a growing number of tourists and mountaineers in recent years.

In 2018, the Himalayan nation saw the number of tourists jump nearly 25 percent as it welcomed a record high of 1,173,072 visitors.