China bans non-climbers from Everest camp - RTHK
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China bans non-climbers from Everest camp

2019-02-15 HKT 20:46
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  • Fewer tourists will get to see Everest from Tibet. Image: Shutterstock
    Fewer tourists will get to see Everest from Tibet. Image: Shutterstock
Mainland authorities have banned tourists from accessing the Mount Everest base camp in Tibet amid an ongoing campaign to clean up trash in the mountainous region, state media reported on Friday.

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 metres 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 per cent as it welcomed a record high of 1,173,072 visitors.

Last year also saw a record 807 climbers reach the summit of the world's tallest mountain.

But the growing popularity of the mountain has lead to mounting levels of trash – and corpses.

In addition to its ban, China also plans to focus on removing the bodies of mountaineers above 8,000 metres and will limit the number of people at its base camp to under 300. (AFP)