How good is it to travel responsibly ?
Responsible tourism - it is more than just a trending buzzword for Himalayan Ecotourism, it is something ingrained in the DNA of our company.
Responsible tourism simply means to create a better place for all stakeholders- the locals, our travellers and the natural environment.
Minimising the negative economic, social and environmental impact of the travel, generating financial benefits for the local community, contributing to the natural and cultural heritage, providing more enriching experiences for the travellers via better connection with the locals and forging greater mutual understanding and respect for each other's diverse cultures are all pillars of responsible and sustainable tourism.
As a social enterprise, Himalayan Ecotourism uses tourism to promote protection and regeneration of the Himalayan ecosystems and the local communities’ welfare. When you trek or tour with us, the profits go in education programs, women empowerment initiatives, reforestation drives to offset the carbon emissions and anti-forest fire campaigns.
Thus, when you travel with us, you definitely do your bit as a responsible and sustainable traveller. While we work diligently on our goals to make travel as sustainable and beneficial as possible to the locals and environment, we ask for your cooperation in our mission.
Minimal carbon footprint
We urge you to try to minimise the carbon footprint of your travel. Use shared or public transport and walk, hike or cycle as much as possible.
If driving yourself, drive responsibly for your safety and for others and do not offroad.
Strive to adjust and be less demanding for factory made products as their imports directly involve carbon emissions and also affect the local products businesses.
Sensitivity towards the environment
When hiking, do not walk outside the trails as this can severely damage the smaller flora and fauna.
When in the outdoors, abstain from playing music or honking unnecessarily as the wildlife gets disturbed and even agitated.
Do not purchase illegal animal products like the feathers of the Himalayan Monal. It is a crime punishable by law.
If not under the supervision of a local, do not light bonfires or firecrackers as there is always a serious risk of forest fires.
Responsible waste disposal
You must have heard this before, but please hear it again and implement- leave only footprints, take only memories.
Carry your own flask and drink the abundantly available minerals-laden freshwater in the Himalayas.
Avoid using disposable plastics.
We can assist you by giving trash bags. Do not litter yourself and go one step further by collecting the litter of others.
Since there is no waste management system in many parts of the Himalayas, it would be extremely responsible of you if you take back your non-biodegradable trash with you.
Cultural context in responsible travelling
Coexistence and assimilation with the local communities is an important pillar of responsible tourism. Smile and greet the locals, but do not be intrusive.
Always ask for consent before clicking their pictures or recording videos.
Try to observe, understand and respect the local social behaviours.
If approaching religious places, be very respectful and abide by the rules.
For a more enriching experience, stay at local homestays instead of hotel chains. While some homestays may provide you with lesser comforts and facilities than typical hotels, it will be a worthwhile experience to become a part of a local family and enjoy their hospitality.
Always prefer local handmade products to mass manufactured goods, for example, locally produced rhododendron juice would be healthier, tastier and more beneficial than any tetra pack juice or soft drink.
These are just a few of the ways in which you can be a more responsible traveller. Endeavour to travel sustainably and differently for once, and you will have a much more holistic and enriching experience. Moreover, the feeling of doing good will always warm your heart. We hope and urge that you will do your best to be a responsible traveller and inspire others to do the same. Together, we can make a difference and continue 'Creating Joy and Sustainability in the Himalayas'.