Touch The Himalaya, Beyond your imagination ..........
Tourism in Nepal contributes 3.5% to GDP and 15% of total foreign exchange earnings of the country. It also contributed direct or indirect employment to 257,000 people in 1998. However, tourism development and its expansion have been challenged by unmanaged urbanization, environmental degradation and pollution. Nevertheless, for the last few years, Nepal has realized the potential impact of an uncontrolled tourism development, and has therefore adopted a national strategy for sustainable development, and thus for sustainable tourism. The government is also supported by the United Nations Development program , as well as development INGO such as SNV, which work, among other thematic, on tourism, and implement proper tourism programs such as the tourism Rural Poverty Alleviation Program. Many other NGO are very present and active in Nepal. Several stakeholders have thus created the Sustainable Tourism Network, The International Porter Protection Group and the Kathmandu Environmental Education Project. Despite these initiatives, which are only examples among others, the situation in Nepal remains pre-occupying, and, tourism can whether worsen inequalities, poverty and environmental degradation, whether intend to reduce them.
Nepal Visitors aims to educate travelers on responsible tourism. We have adopted principles for responsible tourism. We work solely with partners who thoroughly practice responsible tourism. Responsible tourism is about creating better places for people to live in and to visit. Nepal Visitors is about educating people in responsible tourism on the grassroots level. We want to spread the knowledge about how responsible tourism can be implemented in any company by learning from local experts. The guidelines for responsible tourism were chartered in Cape Town in 2002 and followed up in Kerala in 2008.Which main themes was:
* Minimizes negative economic, environmental, and social impacts.
* Generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry.
* Involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life changes.
* Makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world's diversity.
* Provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural.
*Provides access for physically challenged people; and is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
Guiding Principles for Economic Responsibility
* sess economic impacts before developing tourism and exercise preference for those forms of development that benefit local communities and minimize negative impacts on local livelihoods (for example through loss of access to resources), recognizing that tourism may not always be the most appropriate form of local economic development.
* Maximize local economic benefits by increasing linkages and reducing leakages, by ensuring that communities are involved in, and benefit from, tourism. Wherever possible use tourism to assist in poverty reduction by adopting pro-poor strategies.
* Develop quality products that reflect, complement, and enhance the destination.
* Market tourism in ways which reflect the natural, cultural and social integrity of the destination, and which encourage appropriate forms of tourism.
* Adopt equitable business practises, pay and charge fair prices, and build partnerships in ways in which risk is minimised and shared, and recruit and employ staff recognizing international labour standards.
* Provide appropriate and sufficient support to small, medium and micro enterprises to ensure tourism-related enterprises thrive and are sustainable.
Guiding principles for social responsibility
* Actively involve the local community in planning and decision-making and provide capacity building to make this a reality.
* Assess social impacts throughout the life cycle of the operation - including the planning and design phases of projects in order to minimise negative impacts and maximise positive ones.
* Endeavour to make tourism an inclusive social experience and to ensure that there is access for all, in particular vulnerable and disadvantaged communities and individuals.
* Combat the sexual exploitation of human beings, particularly the exploitation of children.
* Be sensitive to the host culture, maintaining and encouraging social and cultural diversity.
* Endeavour to ensure that tourism contributes to improvements in health and education.
Guiding Principles for Environmental Responsibility
* Assess environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of tourist establishments and operations - including the planning and design phase - and ensure that negative impacts are reduced to the minimum and maximizing positive ones.
* Use resources sustainably, and reduce waste and over-consumption.
* Manage natural diversity sustainably, and where appropriate restore it; and consider the volume and type of tourism that the environment can support, and respect the integrity of vulnerable ecosystems and protected areas.
* Promote education and awareness for sustainable development - for all stakeholders.
* Raise the capacity of all stakeholders and ensure that best practice is followed, for this purpose consult with environmental and conservation experts.
* Above are the guidelines and need to be adjusted accordingly to each company or destination.