New wheelchair-accessible trail opens in the Himalayas

Wheelchair accessible

A man sits in a wheelchair looking up at snow covered mountains. Source: Shutterstock

NEPAL is taking steps to ensure tourism is accessible for everyone by opening the Himalayas’ first trail for people with disabilities.

The 1.3-kilometer Deurali-Naudanda trail makes up part of the 14-kilometer-long path that connects Sarangkot to Naudanda.

The accessible path boasts stunning views of Mount Annapurna, Mount Fishtail, and Mount Manaslu.

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) minister Rabindra Adhikari inaugurated the trail over the weekend at the first International Conference on Accessible Adventure held in Nepal.

Nepal has a magnificent repertoire of incredible cultural sites, jungle tourism, and Himalayan adventures – all of which have been accessible to able-bodied people for decades.

However, the country is making real efforts for wheelchair users and those who are less able-bodied to be able to travel more comfortably and enjoy all the sites and experiences that any other traveler could.

NTB CEO Deepak Raj Joshi said the hiking trail is a remarkable achievement in Nepal’s tourism industry.

Adhikari also added that the government would take initiatives to develop it as a model route and take it to the international market.

“We firmly believe this is in tune with the state’s policy to develop new products and to attract the untapped but high-end segment of differently abled domestic and foreign visitors,” he added.

“The trail will be a benchmark of our commitment to tourism and the ministry would look into this to establish it as a model trail in Nepal.”

The trial is set to be accessible for those reliant on wheelchairs, prosthetic legs and senior citizen who require a shallow incline and steadier pathway.

The Nepalese government has vowed to commit more financial support to the trail in the next fiscal in the hopes of making it the best accessible trail in Asia.

Plans to extend the path to three kilometers has already been laid out and Nepal is hoping to dig deeper into this relatively untapped tourism sector.