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19th August 2011
Foreign and local climbers have recently scaled Afghanistan's highest mountain. Could this be the beginning of a tourism revival?
An expedition team that included two Australians, two Afghan climbers and two Afghan support personnel scaled the 7,492m mountain.
Simms said, "Mountaineering expeditions are particularly effective at putting money into the local economy – they are not cheap undertakings.
Simms said that 200-250 visitors a year are currently going to Wakhan, an isolated panhandle of land connecting Afghanistan with China that has been closed off to the outside world for decades.
"It needs to be made clear that the Wakhan corridor is not the same as Helmand Province. It's got some phenomenal climbing opportunities out there. I'd love to go.
"If tourism can be used to help, enrich and empower the people there then only good can come from it." Follow @DanielMartinAdv on Twitter for updates on his latest adventure.
The WCS have said that other areas of Afghanistan that are famous for stunning mountain scenery have opened up to tourism in recent years.
Peter Zahler, deputy director of WCS's Asia program said, "Despite the turmoil that continues in some parts of the country, Wakhan is just one of a number of areas in Afghanistan that are very safe from a security standpoint and where tourism is already providing jobs and improved livelihoods for local people.”
The Wakhan region is not only attractive to visitors wishing to climb but is also home to snow leopards, Marco Polo sheep and other wildlife.
Check out our Afghanistan travel guide for advice, tips and info | Destinations... More
Vistors flock to Afghanistan's first national park | News... More
Afghanistan essential info | Destinations... More
Take a look at our mountain travel guide | Destinations... More
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Walking and trekking holiday travel guide, including walking, hiking and trekking travel advice, where to walk, trek, hike and walk in the world
Afghanistan travel guide, including map of Afghanistan, Afghanistan travel advice and when to go to Afghanistan
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