A social enterprise in the heart of the Western Himalayas
Where are we?
Himalayan Ecotourism is based in Himachal Pradesh, India.
We are located on the outskirts of the GHNP (Great Himalayan National Park), a relatively new national park established in 1999 which was inscribed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in June 2014.
We are located close to the major tourist hubs in Himachal Pradesh – Lahaul, Spiti, Shimla, Dharamshala, Kull-Manali and Ladakh-Zanskar.
Himalayan ecotourism functions as a social enterprise. The idea is to create alternate income generating activities for the local people in a sustainable manner.
The first economic activity is ecotourism. We, at Himalayan ecotourism have organised the men engaged in trekking and outdoor activites into a cooperative : “The GHNP Community-Based Ecotourism Cooperative”. They are 75 Members of the community living in the ecozone of the GHNP. Each member is a partner and a shareholder of the enterprise.
We continuously build the capacities of the cooperative members so that they can manage their own organization and we provide them with work thanks to our marketing efforts. The cooperative is run and managed by the members of the cooperative; this helps them develop their skills, motivation and makes them self-reliant.
We also empower the women by training them with skills to produce eco- friendly products out of the raw materials present and obtained in the local area. They are taught to produce soaps, skin balms, sun screen creams, jams, pickles, felt products etc. We also help them market these products.
A part of the profits generated by our enterprise is dedicated to our social and environmental projects : Reducing the pressures on the local ecosystems, women empowerment, waste management, health and nutrition.
Thus we are involved in creating a sustainable development model that does not come at the cost of the environment.