Responsible Tourism in Nepal and Sherpa Heritage Trails
The Himalayas, with its ethnic cultures and special natural habitat, is a heritage to each and every one of us. Throughout all our programs we endorse responsible tourism. We want to minimize negative social and environmental impacts. By staying and visiting local communities we generate economic benefits for local people and enhance the well-being of host communities.
Our Main Goals are:
Trekking staff and porter welfare
Respect local culture
Protect the children
Carbon footprint offset
Preserve nature & safeguarding forests
Support local communities
Trekking staff and porter welfare:
Sherpa Heritage Trails ensures safe, healthy and fair working conditions for all our staff during all our tours, trekking & expeditions.
We offer our staff:
-An honest working wage, usually higher than the recommended wages by TAAN (Trekking Agencies’ Association Nepal).
-If necessary we provide proper clothing, shoes and gear for all staff. Or we provide an additionally higher wage for buying gear prior to tour departures.
-A medical insurance, and a medical-evacuation insurance. Free use of the First Aid kit.
-Our staff must have a minimum age of 16 years.
-We aim for a maximum of 25 kg carrying weight per porter. The carrying weight will never exceed 30 kg.
Respect local culture:
-We encourage our clients to encounter with the local community. Believing that there is much to learn from each other’s culture. Off course therefore we ask all those travelling with us, to respect the culture and privacy of the local inhabitants.
-If you would like to take a photograph of a local, ask their permission first.
Protect the children:
-We strongly advise our clients not to hand out sweets, pens, balloons or other gifts to local children. This encourages begging amongst children and their parents. If you want to help out, please donate your gifts to a local school. This will benefit more children as well as the local community.
– For photographing children you need consent of their parents or their keepers. In order to protect children we ask you to refrain yourself from posting photo’s or video’s of them on social media.
Carbon footprint offset:
-All our clients and our staff travel locally CO2-emission free. We offset the emission in a non-profit organization who invests in environmental projects to reduce the carbon footprint. We also encourage our clients to travel CO2-emission free from their home destinations.
Preserve nature & safe guarding forests:
-We do not offer day tour helicopter flights or day tour mountain flights. These flights are air polluting, disturbing nature & wildlife, and annoying for trekkers who are enjoying the silence nature.
-If possible and safe, we offer filtered drinking water instead of bottled water. Single-use plastic bottles are a big waste problem in Nepal. With the use water filters you leave no waste of plastic bottles behind.
-We encourage all our clients to minimize their rubbish and to leave no waste behind.
-During camping trek we use kerosene stoves or gas stoves for cooking. We will never use wood for cooking. Cooking on wood means local forests are being cut, which means more erosion on the mountains with disastrous consequences.
-During camping trek we do not use open fire for the same reasons as mentioned above.
Support local communities:
Sherpa Heritage Trails supports Tashi Delek foundation the Netherlands. The foundation supports and educates the local farmer community in the Solukhumbu region. Their main focus is agricultural knowledge, water efficiency and practical education. During the projects the foundation encourages self sufficiency of the local communities. In 2018 a new practical school project was initiated for high school students. The students receive classes in English language skills and practical farming classes. With this educational project Tashi Delek hopes to encourage young locals to live and work in their home region. This instead of leaving the Solukhmbu to the big cities or abroad for jobs.