KATHMANDU, Feb. 6 Nepal's government announced on Wednesday sharp cuts in the fees it charges to scale 60 of its Himalayan mountains, but not for Mount Everest, as a way to attract climbers and support the struggling tourism sector.
Along with Everest, the world's highest mountain, Nepal's other eight popular peaks that are over 8,000 metres (26,250 ft) high are also excluded from the fee cuts.
''As an incentive to climbing expeditions, the government of Nepal has decided to exempt expeditions from 75 percent of the royalty on 40 peaks and 100 percent of the royalty on another 20 peaks,'' the Tourism Ministry said in a statement.
The mountains on the list are not very frequently attempted by climbers and are scattered all across the impoverished country. Royalties currently charged range from $1,500 to $4,000 for an expedition of seven members.
The cuts will start in the Spring season in March and last for three years, the statement said.
The Nepalese government charges between $50,000 and $70,000 for expeditions to the Everest depending on the route taken.