In Nepal, ever increasing pressure is being placed on the fragile mountain environment and the communities it sustains. It is Himalayan Quests mission to travel in a way that conserves the areas we visit and brings positive benefits to the local communities.
Himalayan Quests subscribes to a number of core principles in relation to responsible travel, of which the main ones are:
- Protect the environment – its flora, fauna and landscapes
- Respect local cultures – traditions, religions and heritage
- Benefit local communities – both economically and socially
- Conserve natural resources – across all stages of the journey, from planning to destination
- Minimise pollution – through noise, waste disposal and congestion
- Ensure the welfare of staff – fair pay, insurance and appropriate kit for all our staff
In essence, low volume, low impact travel is the best way of preserving the beautiful and fragile places we visit, while offering intimate opportunities to explore, discover and experience the wonders that Nepal has to offer.
Himalayan Quests is a Nepali organisation, using local partners, staff, suppliers and businesses with sustainable philosophies, thus ensuring resources and wealth remain within the country, helping to build Nepal’s economy.
Alongside our own principles, we ask that our clients to be responsible tourists and when visiting a destination be concerned about the protection and preservation of places, cultures and environments. As a responsible traveller you should endeavour to:
Research your destination, in order to have a basic understanding of the culture you are about to immerse yourself in, their customs and what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour.
Remember you are a guest in the country you are visiting. Be open and respect their way of living and don’t be judgemental. Observe, but don’t intrude and always ask before taking pictures of people. Be sensitive to the situations you point your camera lens at. Think twice before you give anything to children. You may encourage them to continue begging or you could quite literally be killing them with your kindness.
Preserve natural resources, especially water. Water shortages are a common in many places, so do not waste it unnecessarily or leave taps running or dripping. Turn off lights and other electrical equipment when they are not in use.
Spread your wealth by using different restaurants and doing your shopping across a range shops. Always buy local and thus contribute to local economic growth. Do not buy products made from endangered species or that are part of the cultural heritage. Bargaining is an engrained part of many cultures and can be great fun. Keep the exchange light and fun and always pay a fair price that both parties are happy with.
Be environmentally aware. Bottled water is cheap and readily available in many developing countries, but there are no recycling facilities to deal with the plastic bottles left behind. Don’t add to the problem, use your own refillable bottle where possible and treat the water to ensure it is safe to drink.
Leave no trace regardless of whether you are in a rural or urban setting. Respect your surroundings and leave nature where it belongs. Ensure all your rubbish is disposed of appropriately, and if suitable refuse collection is not available, take it home with you.