Saturday, February 15, 2014

Shikhar Travels: Developing Eco tourism

Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh, Valley of Flowers in Uttaranchal, and the Sunderbans in West Bengal are beautiful places; haven of nature lovers. Ever imagined, where will you go for vacations if these and few more breath taking travel destinations were lost?

Some of the most amazing places on earth are also the most threatened. Our natural wonders, and their unique and irreplaceable wildlife, are in jeopardy. And while common knowledge may suggest we stay far away from these landscapes and seascapes to protect them, Shikhar Travels is taking initiatives to save the world’s most precious places by visiting them in a responsible manner.

"Shikhar Eco Foundation"
Think Eco tourism with Shikhar - Eco tourism refers to “responsible travel to natural areas to conserve the environment; provide funds for ecological conservation and improve the well being of local communities”. According to a survey there are 700 million tourists in the world annually and they generate roughly $2.4 billion a day. Eco tourism may appeal ecologically and socially conscious people and stands for power of giving back to the giving back, paying forward – empowering communities to fight against various challenges like poverty, illiteracy and help these communities in achieving sustainable development.

Eco tourism emphasizes on sustainable tourism to usually unprotected, delicate areas that:
  • Minimizes impact on the natural environment
  • Build Cultural and Environmental respect and awareness
  • Provide positive experience for tourists and/or visitors
  • Provide Financial benefits for conservation and empowerment of local people
  • Raise sensitivity to that natural area’s environmental and social climate

Shikhar Travels initiating change – As a part of Shikhar’s Corporate Social Responsibility, Shikhar Group of companies has started Shikhar Eco Foundation which aims at giving back to the the communities which have helped Shikhar in its journey.

The first initiative of the foundation was to adopt Agoda village, in district Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, on the Dodital trek trail. The initiatives also included training programme for Lodge Owners and trekking Guides. All initiatives will be supplemented by creating a website for the Lodge owners and trekking guides of the area and cleaning the trail.

You can too contribute by making wise travel choices - Your role in ecotourism – whether you travel to relax, explore or learn – is to prepare carefully before leaving and choose responsible options. Know your destination intimately: its wildlife, unique environmental stresses, ecotourism opportunities and certified participating agencies and operators.

Ask for and choose these options at every stage of your trip, and do everything you can to protect the environment around you for future generations. So, don’t hesitate and join hands with Shikhar Travels in bringing together nature, travel and communities.