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Another Way to Support Nepal as a Traveller

Book, Pay & Stay at Home – Another Way to Support Nepal

Tourism entrepreneurs have called foreign tourists not to change their plan of visiting Nepal, in wake of the devastating April 25 earthquake. Issuing a press release, the Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO) said, “The tourism operators of Nepal are warning international travellers not to jump to conclusions over damage.”

“The popular tourist areas have escaped the brunt of the damage of the recent earthquake,” the release read, “The Kathmandu Valley is alive and kicking and striving to get back on its feet.” Despite damages seen in historical and cultural monuments, Nepal is still able to welcome tourists, claimed the Association.

Consult with your local partners, operators, Government authorities and locals about the situation in the ground before cancelling or postponing or booking a new trip to Nepal. We know some guests who would love to travel to Nepal assuming that their tourism money could be used for rebuilding the nation. Timing is everything. So please check for exact situation analysis. If you don’t have enough contacts, check for crowd-sourced information that’s being regularly updated by Kathmandu Living Labs . It’s not a tourism website, it’s rather a situation analysis about various relief work, devastation scale, support needed and delivered.

nepal kids

If you feel altruistic or philanthropic at this moment, book a holiday with a local tour operator, pay them and just not travel. ((Sorry you can’t take any selfies with Himalayan background!), but we said, ‘altruistic’) .Take references about the tour operator about their past social commitments, so that you in fact will be making not just a contribution. But supporting a company that’s already been involved in social initiatives in the country. Luckily there are some good socially minded Tour Operators in Nepal.That way you have made your contribution and bye-passed a legal tangle as well. For-profit Tour Operators like any other companies legally can’t receive ‘donations’ for charity. Here, this money you are sending is towards a commercial product, the operator can pay his sales taxes and other locally relevant taxes (towards the money received for the holiday booking) and the remaining money can be utilised for immediate relief and long term sustainable development. Allow them to keep 10-15% of the total money you spent ( which they would as a margin in any case if you were to book a trip with them) for their personal use ( paying overheads for. e.g).

However do this only if you know how the remaining money is going to be spend. If they don’t have a social arm within their structure, ask them to identify local partners, ask them to send you details about what they will be doing and how the money will be spending. Have an accountable and transparent system in place. Irrespective of feeling “altruistic”, if you still feel like getting some photographs from Nepal, ask your local tour operator to take some hi-res photo and send it to you the traditional way. By Post!Sounds difficult? It really is not. However if the local operator finds it difficult to work on accountability and transparency , well then don’t book the holiday.You tried. If you still want to contribute? well then read through our earlier posts on What To Do and What Not To Do:


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