How we redefined ecotourism:
Did you know? Unlike most others firms who work to maximize their own profits while poorly following the principles of ecotourism, we did not start Himalayan Ecotourism with the intention of starting a tourism business. Instead, everything we work for is derived from a strong will to empower our local communities and preserve the flora and fauna of the Great Himalayan National Park.
In order to keep our interests independent from those of our donors, we did not choose to achieve our social and environmental goals through non-profit means. We chose to have a certain amount of financial independence, to be able to work for our mission without having to depend on donations which tend to be an unstable source. And so we decided to start a business, earn money through it, and use those funds to achieve our sustainable development goals. Seeing that we were already located in such a beautiful region, we figured tourism would be the ideal business to start. That’s how we became a social enterprise whose business is tourism and mission is local sustainable development.
We wish to pave the way for a much more ambitious concept of ecotourism. We wish to inspire other operators so that it may lead to a positive impact in all the areas which are home to indigenous communities and are unprecedented centres of natural beauty.
What does it mean for you when you travel with Himalayan Ecotourism?
Travelling the Himalayas with us means you get to experience top quality services with warm hospitality as we have encouraged and assisted 65 local men who used to work as trekking staff to form a cooperative. Each member has at least one share in the society. It means that they are no more simple daily wage earners as they were with other operators. Being members of the society and owing a part of its capital, they are actually the owners of the company and that makes a huge difference for you. The people going with you as guides, cooks and assistants consider you as their own customers. They must ensure that you go back home happy and satisfied as they are the owners of the organisation you have approached and trusted for your trip to the Himalayas.
What does it mean for you when you intern / volunteer at Himalayan Ecotourism?
We here at Himalayan Ecotourism welcome interns as a social enterprise. Since we have our roots in the local community, you will have a direct and spontaneous relationship with the local villagers. Get a briefing about our vision & our work, understand our philosophy, wear the Himalayan Ecotourism T-shirt and you are good to go!
Of course, it goes without saying that you must share our genuine passion for the environment and conservation to get a good chance at working with us. If so, we assure you we will be with you every step of the way in achieving your objectives!
The founder of Himalayan Ecotourism is an experienced rural development facilitator who will guide you towards your goal. He has a keen interest in building the capacities of young social/environmental activists, and in helping them to shape their future as change-makers.
You will also get to learn about the concept of social enterprise. We believe that to help the disadvantaged in our community to stand on their two feet, you must stand on your own two feet first. Running and managing a social enterprise is an excellent way to learn about sustainability, not only in terms of conservation but also in terms of financial viability.