Tourism is one of the main drivers of the Nepalese economy, and the government hopes to double the number of visitors next year to one million, by getting its share of the multibillion-dollar gay tourist market.
Nepal is banking that gay tourists will be far more lucrative than the backpackers who stay in cheap hotels and travel on shoestring budgets.
”They do have a lot of income … they are high-spending consumers,” said Aditya Baral, spokesman for the Nepal Tourism Board. ”If they behave well, if they have money, we don’t discriminate.”
A growing segment of the gay tourism market craves adventure travel and exotic locations, especially to places seen as hospitable to gay travelers, said John Tanzella of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.
Everest, the highest mountain on Earth above sea level at 29,029 ft., is part of the Himalaya range in Asia, located on the border between Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal, and Tibet, China.