The authorities in Nepal have come up with a novel idea to combat rampant bribe-taking at the country’s international airport in Kathmandu.
They haven’t increased CCTV or begun random searches – they’ve given staff trousers (US: pants) with no pockets.
“We sent a team to observe the growing complaints about the behaviour of airport authorities and workers towards travellers and we discovered that the reports were true,” said Ishwori Prasad Paudyal, spokesman for the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).
He said CIAA investigators had observed theft as well as bribe-taking and it was felt that the pocketless trouser would, as he put it, ‘curb the irregularities’.
The move came a day after Nepal’s new Prime Minister, Madhav Mumar Nepal, had expressed fears that corruption was tarnishing the reputation of the Tribhuvan International Airport.
The landlocked Himalayan nation is one of the poorest in the world and its tourism industry is important, employing around 300,000 people. There were more than 500,000 foreign visitors in 2008 and Nepal has set an ambitious goal of attracting a million tourists a year by 2011.
by Andy Moreton
The Lonely Planet guide describes Nepal in this way:
“Draped along the greatest heights of the Himalaya, Nepal is where the ice-cold of the mountains meets the steamy heat of the Indian plains. It’s a land of yaks and yetis, stupas and Sherpas and some of the best trekking on earth.”
And when you want to put your feet up and relax after the trekking experience, try the luxury Dwarika Hotel in Kathmandu, described by recent guests as ‘unique’, ‘special’, and ‘awesome’. It’s bookable through Luxique at the best rates.