You don’t have to travel deep into Chitwan National Park in the Terai Lowlands of Nepal to come face-to-face with the once elusive one-horned rhino. Thanks to major conservation efforts, the population has grown from a mere 40 to over 600 living in the park today, making it an easier feat to spot one of these incredible creatures. In fact, you’re almost guaranteed to see one on safari – a major contributor to that possibility? Tourism.
Tourism, when implemented thoughtfully, has the potential to eradicate the numerous world issues that we face today. According to Statista, the industry generates about 8.27tr USD and makes up about 10.4% of the world’s GDP annually – that power in capital can spark movements for positive change. The idea works on a grassroots level as well and in this case, to aid wildlife conservation. It starts with involving the local stakeholders and providing information and evidence for them to realize that protecting wildlife will bring in travelers who then sustain the area’s economic growth – and that is worth a lot more than poaching or habitat destruction for resources that will only generate temporary profits. In any case, the key aspect is to involve local communities because the benefits can only be reaped if everyone is on board.
The rhino conservation efforts in Nepal have historically been underway since the 1950s but only took off after the late 1970s when the government, along with international and national organizations, made a conscious effort to include the locals via community-based conservation projects rather than a strict top-down approach through regulations. The local people are the ones who are at the frontline of conservation so they are the most important players, this key fact is often forgotten but not in the case of today’s projects in Nepal. Around 50% of national park income in the country is steered towards community development activities, most often in the form of tourism facing projects. For example, there are overnight watchtower accommodations built in Chitwan National Park for tourists to stay in that are managed by locals in Chitwan – this provides jobs that lead to economic growth and community preservation in participating areas.
Today, Nepal is the epitome of a success story in conservation. Since 2011, the country has recorded consecutive years without rhino poaching despite its close proximity to the world’s largest rhino-horn markets in China and Vietnam. More than 23% of Nepal is protected as conservation areas including 23 national parks and wildlife tourism has contributed to the country’s overall GDP through sustainable economic opportunities. As a growing business in Nepal, Royal Mountain Travel is focused on supporting initiatives just like this. It is our duty as operators in the travel industry to not only provide the best possible experience for our guests but to also be stewards of sustainability to make our country and the world a better place.
Leadership is not a new topic for our young generation. Trekking and Nepal is also not a novel combination. However, few have pondered upon the possibilities of intertwining leadership development and trekking. Continue reading
photo via Himalayan Times
Nepal is full of rich cultural history that manifests into celebrations that we cherish with family and friends. One of the largest festivals celebrated in Nepal is Tihar (also known as Deepawali, or the festival of lights). The five-day Hindu celebration in November is held to give thanks to the contributions of the gods, people and animals; it’s slotted time for us to be reminded of the community that adds richness in our lives. During Tihar, the towns are illuminated with lit diyas and homes are decorated with patterns of colored rice and flower petals as a sacred welcoming – this makes it one of the most beautiful times for travelers to visit and join in the celebrations with us. Continue reading
It’s no secret that Nepal is a country famous for its mountain range, the Himalayas. After all, 8 of the world’s tallest peaks lies in Nepal, paving a way for world-class hiking and picturesque treks from the Annapurna Circuit to the Everest Base Camp trek. The country is regarded as the top destination for adventure travelers but Nepal is more than the identity guidebooks give us. It is an ancient country and within the mountain ranges are ornate cities chock-full of tradition, historic temples, spiritual sites and unrivaled natural landscapes full of beauty. Continue reading
Tourism is a powerful, and often, underused tool. It has the potential to ignite change and uplift communities that have traditionally lacked the resources to operate sustainably. Perhaps one of its most important benefits is its ability to improve the livelihoods of women – to bring gender equality into areas that have historically undervalued the positive impact women can make in the family, community and country.
“Sustainable travel is up to all of us – travelers and industry providers alike – to integrate into every journey.” said Hostelling International USA’s Director of Communications and PR Netanya Trimboli in New York on Nov 17 at the ‘Global Summit’ for the sustainable tourism. I had the honour and privilege to participate in Travel+SocialGood’s Global Summit in New York. On the same event, Travel+SocialGood rebranded its name to ‘Impact Travel Alliance (ITA)’. Continue reading
Every year Panauti celebrates the Navadurga Jatra, the festival of Nine Durgas, which falls – normally – during the end of April or beginning of May. It is a masked dance ceremony dedicated to the nine Durgas, Durgas – The Goddess of War – The sources to the all energy of Lord Shiva. The multiple demonic representations are the manifestations of Parvati; the power of Shiva in the Tantric tradition. It is celebrated for, continuous, three days. Continue reading
Before writing about my experience in Everest Base Camp trek. Firstly, I would like to mention that from the beginning of my job, career, I mean for the last 6 years I have been working and feel proud of being specialized trekking and tour leader in Annapurna Region from the Royal Mountain Travel. Which is one of the top-ranking travel companies in Nepal and has the biggest international network that offers extensive variety tours, treks, hikes and other adventure travel activities for Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. Continue reading
Since 12 years of the establishment of the Royal Mountain Travel, and in these twelve years we’ve been firmly committed to the sustainable and responsible tourism. We have always believed in the development of the society, community, and the country should come first before the development of our company. Especially in the travel industry; adding the valuable experience in the vacation of the travellers’ and settling them in the safest destination is the harvesting process and this will continue for a longer period of time. Continue reading
Not believing my ears in November 2016 when I heard a friend comment “Bhatti nai jadaina’ I was delighted to hear that for the first time in over a decade, there was to be no ‘loadshedding’ in Kathmandu. Loadshedding or power cut has been a feature of life in Kathmandu and most of the country for over a decade. Indeed, many villages supplied by micro-hydro electricity power have had more light than the capital city. Continue reading