Nepal holidays
Tours & holidays in 2017 & 2018

At Responsible Travel we campaign for change in the tourism industry on issues that we are passionate about. We do this because we want to help protect our favourite places, cultures and wildlife from unethical practices and irresponsible tourism. We want to create a more caring tourism industry. Over recent years we've formed relationships with activists, local communities, NGOs and people who think differently about tourism - they bring the issues to our attention if we don't spot them first.
With regards to Nepal there are several issues for tourists to lend their support to...
Children Are Not Tourist Attractions
Visiting orphanages in countries such as Cambodia or Thailand, and many more, has become a worryingly normal part of a tourist's itinerary. They have been cleverly interwoven between visits to ancient temples, the beach or a river trip. The problem is two fold, however. First, as supported by this very important campaign led by Childsafe, 'Children are not tourist attractions' and second, false orphanages are being created to make money out of children who have families to care for them. Read more about Childsafe's work and support their campaign, if just to take note of one statistic alone: approximately 8 million children are in institutions worldwide. Eighty per cent of them have families to care for them.
Orphanage volunteering
Volunteer travel can be an incredible force for good, but only when such holidays adhere to strict guidelines. Guidelines we have asked all our volunteering holiday organisations to sign up to. One of the most stringent relates to volunteering with vulnerable children and, specifically, in orphanages. First, only trained professionals should volunteer in such positions. Second, they should commit to volunteering for at least a month. And third, volunteers should be police checked and organisations must adhere to child protection procedures. So if you are tempted to fly in and ‘hug an orphan’ in Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and many more, think again. Worst case scenario, some of these children aren’t even orphans. Best case scenario, you get a sweet Snapchat shot. Orphanage volunteering should never be about the traveller. But always about the children.
Stop riding on elephants
Riding an elephant may seem like a once in a lifetime opportunity to sit on top of nature’s most majestic creatures. A chance to see children’s faces light up like Mowgli in the Jungle Book. However, riding elephants, a popular tourist activity in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and South Africa, is not storybook in terms of animal welfare. Endangered elephants will continue to be taken from the wild as long as the tourist demand for such activities remains in place, and chains and other unethical training methods will continue to be used to 'break in' and control the elephants. It is a complex issue which we discuss in more detail in our Elephant Conservation guide , meanwhile at Responsible Travel we have removed trips that involve riding on elephants, except in certain national parks where there are wider conservation benefits.
The rights of porters
If you’re thinking of hiking up Kilimanjaro, trekking in the Himalayas or taking on the Inca Trail, you can rely on the fact that your trekking company will have hired porters or Sherpas to help you carry your packs up the mountains and set up camp at the end of each day. However, what you can’t always rely on is that someone is looking out for the porters and Sherpas – despite the difficult and sometimes dangerous job they are required to do. At Responsible Travel, we ensure our trekking companies have established policies regarding porters’ rights, including fair pay, monitoring how much they are carrying and ensuring they have adequate shelter, clothing and food. Find out more about protecting porters’ and Sherpas’ rights on high altitude treks.
Educating travellers about responsible tourism
Travellers are becoming more and more aware of the impacts their holidays can have in the world, compared with even ten years ago when so many people turned a blind eye to bad ways simply because we think that we all deserve a break. At Responsible Travel we try to educate rather than lecture. With tips that how easily we can turn negative impacts to positive ones, engage with communities not just stay within gated ones, understand conservation not just tick off safari sightings, think local and think slow. While still enjoying holidays of a lifetime in places that need us to give a little something back too.
Fly less, make it count
If we had a dollar for every time someone said to us ‘there is no such thing as responsible tourism. The minute you fly you are being irresponsible’, we would have a lot of money to donate to good causes. At Responsible Travel we fully accept that flying emits carbon. However, we do not agree with environmentalists who say that we should stop flying altogether as so many local people around the world depend on tourism for jobs and livelihoods. Nor do we encourage travellers to offset in order to ‘offset’ their guilt for flying. We do encourage them to fly less, stay for longer and make their holidays count locally. While also changing their carbon usage at home and, of course at work. Read more about our carbon caution and advice.
Had enough of mass tourism
We run many campaigns at Responsible Travel, but Had Enough, which we ran in 2004, emanated from research that showed nearly three quarters of travellers we interviewed had had enough of destruction caused by mass tourism. The campaign sought to persuade the likes of Thomas Cook and Thomson Holidays to publish responsible tourism policies - which they did very shortly after our campaign launched. Since then, some of the big tourism companies have improved, but many haven’t. For example, almost 90 percent of all inclusive holiday sales stay in the UK, water consumption in tourism in drought ridden countries is unethical, coastlines are destroyed, villagers displaced, families forced into poverty and children into sex tourism. It is not a pretty picture. Which is why, at Responsible Travel, we still campaign for change. Read more about our campaign
World Responsible Tourism Awards
In 2004 we founded the annual World Responsible Tourism Awards. Not only because we believe that these pioneering organisations and individuals deserve a huge pat on the back, but also because we want everyone in the world to know about them. These Awards have been a huge success with over 400 people and organisations taking centre stage at the World Travel Market every year to take their well deserved moment in the limelight. From wildlife conservationists to walking guides, hotels to homestays, tour operators to travel writers, these awards have come to represent the ethos that drives us at Responsible Travel: to help people live their dreams through authentic and life-enriching adventures, to ensure local people and wildlife benefits and to be a catalyst for change in the tourism industry.
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