Responsible tourism: Mera Peak expedition climb in Nepal
Activity: Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. It is a low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem and our trip leaders encourage clients not to stray from paths to minimise this. We work with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy, meaning we have respect for wildlife and the landscape, separate rubbish and take all burnable waste back to Kathmandu. We recommend clients to re-fill a singular bottle with boiled or treated water in order to reduce plastic waste. We also ask that clients consider using biodegradable toiletries and shower at lodges where electricity or solar power is used for hot water.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Accommodation and Meals: At Kathmandu we use a centrally-located hotel and whilst on trek we use a mixture of camping and locally owned teahouses. Mostly the teahouses are owned by families who have lived in the region all of their lives. Using a teahouse means a decent portion of the trip cost and the money you spend on meals in the teahouses goes directly back to the community. All meals are included and much of the food is locally sourced.
Local Craft and Culture: Although we spend much of this tour off the main trekking routes, we stay in teahouses, which allow the clients to engage with locals, learn about regional customs. There is time in Kathmandu to explore the heritage sites such as the monkey temple at Swayambhunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. In Kathmandu there are many shops which sell handcrafted souvenirs such as jewellery, painted masks, puppets, prayer wheels, handwoven bags and paintings.
Charity: After organising tours to the Himalayas for over 40 years, we have developed many long lasting partnerships with our operators and leaders as well as some of the local communities we visit. We seek ways to give something back and we usually help with small-scale practical projects that can help local communities and their environment, whilst giving the maximum possible long-term economic benefit. Together with our local leaders we manage all our own projects and over the years we have helped build schools and a children’s home. We have built water tanks and provide water pipe for villages and have helped with hydro electric projects
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 8 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes