Nepal's Ministry of Tourism is pursuing a clear goal: The Himalayan state wants to welcome 2 million tourists a year from 2020. The country needs tourism, which is its second most important source of income and thus the basis of its economic development. At the same time, travelers should move through the country in a sustainable manner. This is because more and more guests are challenging Nepal's weak structure. To prevent potential problems from escalating, it's also up to the guests themselves. Here we have summarized a few simple tips for more balanced travel in Nepal.
Responsible trekking: Sustainable to the destination
Nepal is famous for its trekking tours. Beginners and advanced trekkers alike get their money's worth here. However, this also means a huge influx of tourists on the usual hiking trails. A major problem that arises here is waste. It ends up in nature in a frightening way, although there are penalties if the garbage is not brought back. Important and actually self-evident: take your trash with you, at least to where it can be disposed of and recycled. This is especially true for empty batteries and other electronic waste.
By the way, environmental protection starts with packing your suitcase or backpack at home: If possible, you should avoid things that only become garbage when you reach your destination. Interesting to know: An environmental group has calculated that travelers who reduce their luggage by 25 percent would release 7,537 tons less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
Bus instead of plane
Nepal Airlines offers domestic flights to various tourist centers in the country. For example, the flight from Kathmandu takes only 25 minutes to Pokhara, the second largest city in Nepal, which is the starting point for many trekking tourists in the Himalayas. So is Chitwan National Park in southern Nepal: It takes 20 minutes to fly from the capital to Bharatpur on the edge of a nature reserve. But it is also more environmentally friendly: All major cities outside the Kathmandu Valley have well-equipped tourist buses from the capital.
Ultimately, this is true everywhere in the world, especially where plastic is not recycled: Instead of buying water in plastic bottles, refill the water in bottles you bring with you. In Nepal, this is easy for travelers to implement. Private homes and hotels typically provide drinking water in 20-liter containers that are collected and recycled when empty. Guests can use these water dispensers free of charge. Some accommodations will even provide you with a fixed water bottle in your room.
Just like at home, it is a good idea to always have a backpack or tote bag with you to carry groceries or other purchases. Many stores in Nepal sell sturdy cloth bags, usually yellow or red. If you don't have your own bag with you, you can easily reuse these bags in the future.
Part of traveling thoughtfully is treating the inhabitants of a country and their culture with respect. Shared accommodations with locals are a great opportunity to get in touch with the locals in Nepal. They now exist throughout the country. Tourists who choose these accommodations live in private homes in the midst of a Nepali community, with rooms for foreign guests equipped with Western-style toilets and hot showers. Here, travelers participate in the daily lives of locals and learn about Nepali culture firsthand.
In addition, guests support the community in two ways during their stay: First, they help empower local women. In community homestays, women take on central tasks and generate their own income from them. Secondly, part of the money goes to the respective communities for the construction of schools, etc.
Feel free to have a look at our 14 days Nepal round trip drop by and get to know the culture of Nepal. Our trip is 100% climate friendly. Our friendly Tour guide Rakesh is on site and is looking forward to meet you.