Vol 13 No 1 (2021)
Article

Climbing Mount Everest: A critical reflection on mountain adventure tourism in Nepal using a population health approach

Katrina Fundytus
University of Calgary
Published October 3, 2021

Abstract

: On April 2014, a large piece of ice fell from the Khumbu Icefall on the tallest mountain on earth, claiming the lives of 16 mountain workers. Following the disaster, many mountain workers were angered by the inadequate compensation provided by the Nepalese government, bringing to light the controversial nature of mountain adventure tourism in Nepal. In this paper, I examine the social and economic influences of mountain adventure tourism, a subcategory of the travel and tourism industry, on locals and mountain workers as well as the natural environment of Nepal. Specifically, I consider how the absence of accountable governance, in combination with actions of various commercial expedition companies and tourism businesses, have contributed to social and environmental problems that exist in Nepal today. Examining the consequences of mountain adventure tourism in the developing country of Nepal permits critical reflection on how private, public, and voluntary sectors, and mountain adventure clients themselves, can come together to address the environmental and social issues in such a way that ensures not only the preservation of the physical and cultural landscape of Nepal, but also the sustainability of the tourism industry in the long-term.