Responsible Travel: Our Vision
Absolutely! We understand that sustainable and responsible travel cannot be approached with a one-size-fits-all mentality. Each occasion and situation requires a tailored approach. We are dedicated to crafting our version of sustainable travel that aligns with the specific needs and characteristics of each destination and community we engage with.
Our commitment to sustainable travel remains unwavering. It encompasses the integration of ethical practices that have a positive impact on the environment, local communities, and our employees. We prioritise supporting local communities and reducing adverse environmental effects to fulfil our guests’ dreams.
Close collaboration with our team, partners, and guests ensures that our travel experiences bring tangible benefits to the communities we visit and contribute to the local economy. We strive to preserve cultural heritage, advocating for the appreciation and celebration of local traditions. Additionally, we actively promote sustainable practices that help minimise our ecological footprint.
We create distinctive and immersive journeys that transcend mainstream tourism by embracing these principles. We take pride in curating unforgettable experiences that provide our guests joy and fulfilment and uphold the values and principles of sustainable travel.
Rest assured, our focus remains on customising our approach to sustainable travel, adapting it according to the unique circumstances and requirements of each occasion. We specialise in Boutique Trekking Experiences, which involve spending most of our time in remote parts of our destinations. Some of our routes are entirely off the beaten path track. We take utmost care to provide unique and enriching experiences to our customers.
Our approach to Responsible Travel
Being a responsible tour operator is to be mindfully engaged in the way we work. It is the proactive way we encounter in our work and incorporate these essential factors. We have adapted our practices as we see the need in remote parts of the Himalayas.
Carbon Neutral Tours
All our trekking tours were low impact; however, we are now carbon neutral. We offset what little footprint our clients generate. We work with Offset Alliance, a B Corp company, to offset our carbon footprints.
We enhance our guests’ experiences by paying attention to minute details beyond the routine and transformational life experiences.
We ensure this through:
- Safety first – practice in prevention rather than cure
- Encourage interaction with our staff.
- Promoting local involvement, our team will gladly help with translations when needed.
- Personalised and professional service – we take care of minute details.
We assess our impact by gathering guest feedback after each trip, listening attentively to what is said, and using this proactively to enhance our services and experiences for future guests.
We treat all team members equally, providing a dignified, safe, and favourable work environment and working conditions.
- Above-average remuneration
- Multi-ethnic groups and cohesive teams
- Women and LGBTQ personnel are a priority.
- Employee Insurance
- Mentoring to ensure both professional and personal growth
- Team engagement and constructive feedback
- Encouraging individuality creativities
We evaluate our impact through our annual training and team-building events. It includes heart-to-heart sessions between the mentors, management, and field staff.
Supplier Evaluation & Relationship
We continuously maintain respectful, trustworthy, economically fair, and mutually beneficial relationships while instilling solid ethical values to ensure long-term partnerships with our business partners.
We encourage them to minimise their environmental impact and treat their team with mutual respect and as part of an extended family.
- Hotels in cities are encouraged to install lower power-consuming electrical appliances.
- Encourage our transporters to upgrade to electric vehicles when the infrastructure for charging is available.
- Encourage our Wildlife Safari lodges to upgrade to Electric vehicles when jeeps with enough power can be driven through challenging terrain and muddy tracks. They have raised awareness in the Wildlife Safari lodges of how people feel about animal cruelty while offering Elephant safaris/rides.
- Hotels in cities and towns are encouraged to engage the ‘homeless’ or individual garbage collectors. They collect and sell the garbage to recyclers.
We assess our partners’ impact, quality of relationships, and partner sustainability evaluation during our regular test and training trips and guest reviews.
We encourage our customers to interact with the host communities while extending the benefits to their economies.
- Preserving cultural heritage
- Supporting Rural Women Empowerment organisations
- Internship opportunities
- We put our trekkers in a lodge owned by a deaf gentleman. , Now the younger son helps at the lodge.
- We provide a complimentary one-hour massage by blind masseuse to our trekkers at the end of their trek.
- We work internally to improve our environmental footprint by choosing suppliers and accommodation providers who take serious steps to lower ecological impact and conservation efforts.
- Sustainable office management: energy, waste, recycling, repurposing and technology at the office:
- The Founder is still using a 10-year-old Macbook Pro.
- We avoid unnecessary printing. Most documents are shared or distributed electronically. A printer bought in 2008 is still in use.
- The printed A4 papers are recycled to take notes and messages, and the paper is used in small provision shops. Shopkeepers use these papers to make little paper bags to put their customers in, reducing plastic use.
- We gave away older smartphones and tablets to our field staff’s children. The children utilised it for their online classes during the COVID-19 19 period.
- Flexible work-from-home arrangements
We have a small office for the core staff, but they could work from home. We will continue to work from home for more efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint by avoiding unnecessary travel.
Internet and its carbon footprint.
The internet is a fantastic tool that has become a video of our lives. However, are you aware that the internet leaves as much carbon footprint as the aviation industry?
Despite the world reaching a standstill with no international flights, internet usage still produces a tremendous carbon footprint. This took place through increased internet use for Online Webinars, Video calls, online classes, video streaming and other forms of entertainment with increased internet use.
Some small steps we take to avoid more carbon footprint:
- We delete all old email communications to free up data for the servers.
- We use Google Drive links for photos and videos by attaching heavy folders/files to prevent data usage.
- We turn off our Wi-Fi routers at night or when not in use.
Read this article by the BBC…
- We are raising Environmental Awareness in remote Himalayan villages.
i) We have been advising the Shey Phoksundo Tourism Coordination Committee. This Committee is from a remote part of Nepal in the Trans Himalayan region of Dolpa. They have a growing number of domestic tourists. The Committee has raised awareness among the local villagers, lodge owners, local guides, and atouriststs’ environmental attention and importance.
ii) We have spoken with one of the largest National Daily English Newspapers on raising awareness for Responsible Behaviour while trekking in remote areas. The Kathmandu Post is a prominent daily newspaper in Nepal. Responsible Travel in Action
Is Responsible Travel a “Hype-word”? We believe not. We work vigorously to ensure our trips are as accountable as possible through our hands-on approach, including continued updates on global and local actions.
We keep in mind that we are located in a developing world and operate in remote and harsh conditions. Therefore, some of our advice/recommendations are more challenging than those of developed nations. However, we encourage our supplier partners to implement NT ideas when possible or feasible. Otherwise, we raise their awareness of what is possible.
- We share and encourage the positive aspects of the travel destinations we care about and our guests to visit the destinations we offer.
- Lodges in remote villages are strongly advised to upgrade to double glazing to reduce fuel use for heaters and prolong the dining rooms’ warmth. In addition, it saves precious natural resources such as wood and dried yak dung (it is becoming rare as fewer people continue animal husbandry in the Himalayan villagesDouble-glazed zed windows in rooms as the temperature difference can be as much as +8 degrees Celcius.
- We give priority to the lodges that have double-glazed windows. However, some newly refurbished clubs have heeded our advice and installed double-glazed windows.
- We promote off-the-beaten-path places and avoid destinations that tourism may adversely affect.
- We practice “Lead by example” when operating the more popular destinations by going beyond the norms.
- We emphasise high-quality local guides trained/moulded by us to provide insights into each culturally sensitive destination.
- We encourage and promote all conservation and environmental projects.
- We minimise our guests’ negative environmental impact while maximising the locals’ benefit support and encouraging sound ecological management of accommodations sensitive to sustainable activities.
- We support environmentally and socially valuable projects through constructive feedback, impartial advice, and generating awareness and bringing them business opportunities.
- Staff and customer awareness
Some of our Nano contributions to the environment.
i) Our staff knows the “Leave No Trace” practices. All our refuse from remote camping treks is packed out. They often pick up trash left on the trails by others.
ii) We have been using the Sawyer 0.1 micron water filter to provide safe drinking water to our customers. This helps us reduce our carbon footprint by boiling oil and water and avoiding single-use plastic bottles.
iii) We provide non-dairy milk to our clients, reducing environmental impact.
iv) Solar panels to charge phone batteries on camping treks,
v) Solar lights for the kitchen and dining tents. We have given some of the disadvantaged villagers solar lights on our hikes.
- We evaluate our customers’ impacts and team feedback while creating awareness through positive examples and success stories between our guests and crew.
- We raise the community’s environmental awareness and encourage its practices.
- .We encourage local projects that support girl child empowerment.
- We support charities and community projects, especially those involving Women’s Empowerment.
- We make a difference by raising their awareness, giving small donations, and using our skills and capabilities positively to impact and enrich their lives.
- We encourage our support staff to continue agriculture, as most are from rural villages.
i) We encourage them to continue growing traditional crops with high dietary benefits and teach them to produce ‘new or different cash crops’ that provide more financial help.
ii)We encourage villagers’ self-employment in agriculture, animal husbandry, and micro-business,ses as most locals inherit ancestral farmlands. However, many youths are going overseas as labourers, leaving farmlands uncultivated. This has caused high inflation as most vegetables and grains are imported from as far away as South America.
iii) Several years ago, one of our most loyal staff members in Kathmandu was encouraged to plant trees on the uncultivated land at the bottom of his villages. His forest has saved part of his village from a landslide during the monsoon of 2020. If not all, most would have been swept in the coming years had it not been for his tree plantation.