Disrupting the tourism and travel industry with carbon negative adventures while impacting lives of local community.
Impact Tourism is an innovative concept that provides global Travelers with a life changing experience to travel to remote unexplored communities of the earth and provide them with tangible social infrastructure, that is not only beneficial and impactful but also empower these indigenous communities with future growth opportunities.
Around a Billion people in the world still live in darkness, without access to energy, and are located in some of the earth’s most beautiful and pristine regions.This lack of access to reliable light and basic power further hinders economic development in these remote regions. Most of the people living in these villages live below the poverty line and can only sustain their basic livelihood from agriculture and animal husbandry opportunities. These communities possess a rich cultural heritage and are currently at a point where development is a need for them otherwise this will lead to migration of these communities forever to the cities.
Tourism has the huge potential to change the lives of the communities as well as for the travelers. The core philosophy of Impact Tourism is to leverage Tourism as a Force for Development for these remote indigenous communities, while providing travelers with an experience that is not only memorable but also life changing.
Dr. Susanne Becken (Director, Griffith Institute for Tourism, Australia)
“As a sector that requires a focus on use of substantial energy, tourism and travel can accelerate the shift towards renewable energy if more travelers make the right choices and decide to make their travel footprint carbon negative. It's not impossible, it is just making the right choices and finding the right travel experiences"
Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) leverages tourism to provide clean energy access through solar power for the remote unelectrified off grid communities of the world. To make this possible GHE organizes impact expeditions to these remote villages where tourists, as part of their trip, not only experience the beauty and culture of these remote areas but also help set up the solar micro-grids for these villages and bring them out from centuries of darkness – leaving behind a remarkable legacy of their visit. A diverse group of people from all over the world come together for a few days with the common vision of bringing power to these remote communities. The concept of combining energy access and tourism not only brings about sustainable rural development but also recognizes tourism as a force for good. We provide travelers with an opportunity to travel to the remote corners of the world and create a tangible impact in the lives of the local communities that have been living in darkness for centuries.
Travelers become changemakers as they provide a simple technological solution of Solar microgrids to these remote communities,to end ages of darkness, and take back a experience that they will remember for a lifetime. By providing light to a community, you not only become a part of the history of that village and form a very unique bond with the villagers but also become ambassadors of sustainable development and bring out these remote yet beautiful indigenous communities onto the world tourism map.
GHE further engages the local communities not only for their electrification as trek guides and helpers for the logistics but also empower the local women to engage in homestays related activities, thereby putting the local community at the front of everything we do and provide the local communities with meaningful employment. The Solar Electrification of the village is done by the travelers along with GHE engineers but the maintenance and upkeep is owned by the local community. This empowers the locals to take accountability and ownership of the solar grids while making them self reliant and independent.
Solar Electrification is just the starting point. To enable sustainable development of these villages, GHE helps the local indigenous communities to create livelihood opportunities through setup of ‘Mountain Homestays’. A concept which promotes homes of these villages as tourists’ guests houses and provide them with cultural immersion. These villages are now promoted as offbeat tourist destinations on www.mountainhomestays.com for tourists to visit the villages and stay at these local homestays – owned and run by the local village women. The village women are trained on basic tourism and hospitality services which results in an additional income for the family through homestays. The Homestays have empowered the women to engage in the economic activities of the household and achieve financial independence.
GHE believes in the philosophy that women have to be at the forefront of the development, as they are able to provide a holistic angle to the development of the communities. GHE has also trained women of these villages in partnership with Barefoot College and equipped them with the skills to become solar engineers. These brave women are back in their homes, putting these skills to work for the benefit of the nearby villages, where they have lived all their lives. The women engineers are also great influencers and inspiration for these communities about the potential of women and their role in the society.
By bringing in employment opportunities to their doors through electrification and tourism, GHE not only empowers the local women population but also prevents migration from these hamlets to the nearby towns for better job opportunities. This has not only reduced migration but have also led to the preservation of age old cultural heritage in these villages. Most of the villages that GHE has electrified date back to almost a thousand years with a rich culture and heritage. Some of the traditions that have been lost in the cities is still present in these villages and the home The younger generation now tends to frequent the village more and acts as tourist guides to these villages thereby promoting the heritage.