Mt. Qomolangma base camp targets graffiti

Management at Mount Qomolangma base camp plans to curb rampant vandalism by naming and shaming scribblers as peak tourist season begins this month.

Gu Chunlei, deputy head of the tourism bureau of Tingri County in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, said on Tuesday that those on the "bad behavior list" would be made public in the media later this month.

Photos taken by the bureau showed that monuments and signs were rife with signatures, drawings and phrases such as "I was here!" Some even covered a sign marking "Mount Qomolangma base camp" in Chinese, English and Tibetan.

Gu said maintenance staff have regularly cleaned the monuments, but new graffiti soon pops up in its place.

Visitors to Mount Qomolangma, known as Mt. Everest in the West, are required to register their real names, so supervisors will be able to match names on the monuments with those on the register, he said.

In addition, new monuments will be erected just for graffiti for those who feel compelled to doodle on something near the world's highest peak, according to Gu.

Tourism at Mount Qomolangma base camp, which sits at an altitude of 5,200 meters, has thrived thanks to improved infrastructure. The base camp gained access to reliable electricity in April 2014 and a road opened to link the base camp and Tingri County in July 2015.

It received 59,100 visitors in 2014. The number plunged to about 40,000 in 2015 as a result of a powerful earthquake in Nepal, but from January to March numbers were up 45 percent year on year.