Responsible tourism is the treating others the way they wish to be treated. Respect for difference is essential; it’s also a matter of common sense and good manners. Our environment that just cannot be left addressed for too long before it will start having repercussions in a magnitude that will be unmanageable and devastating, the time has come for Nepal as well as the entire world to start accepting this fact.
Apex Himalaya Treks & Expedition Pvt.Ltd. is an ecological tour operator with an objective to improve, protect and conserve the environment of the Himalayan Mountains. We are members of Kathmandu Environmental Education Program (KEEP), The International Eco-tourism Society, Trekking Agencies’ association of Nepal (TAAN), which are environmental organisations that promote responsible tourism.
Nepal, for all its massive mountain peaks and impressive geography, is actually an incredibly fragile environment. The mountains areas in Nepal are among the world’s richest regions in terms of biodiversity and pristine landscapes. As such they hold huge potential for nature-based tourism. Apex Himalaya Treks has taken the initiative for the responsible tourism. Conserving, protecting, improving nature resources and local culture, better facilities for employees, trekking and mountaineering staffers minimizing negative economic, environmental and social impacts are some of the efforts, we are doing for the responsible tourism.
We strongly follow the five guide line of (International Porter Protection Group) trekking Ethics “Working towards a Sustainable and Ethical Trekking Industry.”
A) Adequate clothing should be provided to porters for their protection in bad weather and at altitude. This means windproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, long johns, suitable footwear (leather boots in snow), socks, hat, gloves and sunglasses.
B) Above the tree line, porters should have a dedicated shelter, either a room in a lodge or a tent (the trekkers’ mess tent is not good enough as it is not usually available till late evening), a sleeping pad and a blanket (or sleeping bag). They should also be provided with food and warm drinks, or cooking equipment and fuel.
C) Porters should be provided with the same standard of medical care as you would expect for yourself, including insurance.
D) Porters should not be paid off because of illness/injury without the leader or the trekkers assessing their condition carefully. The person in charge of the porters must let their trek leader or the trekkers know if a porter is about to be paid off; failure to do this has resulted in many deaths. Sick/injured porters should never be sent down alone, but with someone who speaks their language and understands their problem, along with a letter describing their complaint. Sufficient funds should be provided to cover cost of rescue and treatment.
E) No porter should be asked to carry a load that is too heavy for their physical abilities. Weight limits may need to be adjusted for altitude, trail and weather conditions; good judgment is needed to make this decision. 20 kg load should be a maximum.