Tourism is one of the most important and largest industries on the planet. It employs more people worldwide than any other, with millions of families relying on tourism for their daily needs. Of course there are negative sides attached.
The last few decades have been dotted with disaster stories where tourism has resulted in over-development, destruction of environments and in cultural misunderstandings and mistrust. It has also recently been embroiled in the debate about global warming and carbon emissions caused by flying. At Himalaya Discovery we believe that our type of small group, positive impact tourism can bring benefits to many communities, help preserve the environments we travel to see, and provide real and positive social exchanges.
- We comply with international environmental conventions and abide by the laws, regulations and guidelines of the countries, cultures and natural areas we visit.
- We ensure direct economic benefits from our tourism operation to the host community, thereby providing an economic impetus to environmental conservation.
- We hire local people whenever possible throughout all levels of the organization, providing them with appropriate training.
- We actively work with the host community whenever possible.
- We support local businesses and use local services whenever possible.
- We protect the integrity of local cultures and heritage by accepting their right to determine their own development and through minimizing visitor contribution to acculturation and the decline of local values.
- We assist in maximizing the retention of our clients’ expenditure in the local communities with advice in our literature and from our leaders.
- We ensure that our negative impact on the natural environment is minimized.
- We ensure that the type and scale of our operation is appropriate to local conditions.
- We use established, locally owned and run campsites wherever possible and endeavor to leave the site in better condition than we found it.
- We adhere to minimum impact guidelines pertaining to toilets, rubbish, the use of soaps, firewood, water, fuel and other items that can negatively impact the environment.
- Our group sizes are regulated to minimize cultural and environmental impact.
- We ensure that all aspects of visitors’ experience are in harmony with the cultural and natural environment.
- We help prepare our clients by providing information at all stages in order to help them minimize their cultural and environmental impact.
- We help enrich our clients’ experience by providing cultural and environmental interpretation, both through local site specific guides, and by providing our leaders with the appropriate training.
- We actively support cultural, social and environmental initiatives through financial contributions and direct participatory involvement.