Non-profit organization Planeterra is inviting members of the travel industry to come together as a team or individually and Turn Travel into Impact from Home by trekking to Everest Base Camp.
The first annual Planeterra Trek Challenge will take place virtually September 21-27 as participants walk or run 65 kilometres in one week (or 85,000 steps) while raising funds for its project partners to provide kickstarter funding for communities that need to invest in new health and safety measures, provide training for safely reopening, and ensure communities remain resilient and safe for years to come. Participants will ‘reach the top’ on World Tourism Day, Sept. 27.
Planeterra’s founder, Bruce Poon Tip, who also founded small-group adventure tour operator G Adventures and is the owner of G Touring, has already built his own team, and pledged to match donations from participating teams, and donors, up to $25,000 CAD.
“The Planeterra Trek Challenge is an opportunity for us to come together virtually and create a sense of connection at a time where people are feeling distanced, not just from travel but from other countries and cultures. Most of us are missing travelling and many are looking for a way to give back to the people and communities who have given us life-changing travel experiences in the past. I’m excited to invite our agency partners, suppliers and the wider tourism industry to join us in raising some much-needed funds.
“We also want to spotlight this iconic region for travel that is currently void of tourists. These communities need our help, so let’s get away from our home offices for a bit, maybe tackle a personal fitness challenge at the same time, and do what we can to make a difference,” says Poon Tip.
Planeterra’s network of 85 community projects around the world was left without any source of income when global travel was suspended as a result of the current pandemic. Local people and their communities need funds fast in order to rebuild and recover, and the Planeterra Foundation is encouraging travel agency partners, along with their friends and family, to join them in raising awareness and much-needed money.
“We are preparing a series of unique content and stories online that will celebrate and highlight community tourism. This includes interviews with travellers who have summited Everest, interviews with community tourism leaders and cooking demonstrations. Anyone who loves travel is going to want to get involved,” adds Alanna Wallace, Planeterra’s program and communications manager.
The Planeterra Trek Challenge will be supported across Planeterra’s social media channels and agents can learn more about the campaign and how to sell trips to Everest Base Camp via the Agents of Change Facebook group. Throughout September, Planeterra will be posting videos, blogs, webinars with special guests, and other information about their work in the region, as well as tips for trekking in Nepal and the unique and inspiring aspects about travel in South Asia.
Donations collected will provide kickstarter funding for communities around the world that need to invest in new health and safety measures, contribute to training for safe reopening, and help to ensure communities remain resilient and safe for years to come.
There is a $30.00 registration fee for all participants.
Why is Planeterra doing this?
As the travel industry has been paused, we thought this would be a great way to come together through our love of travel. It’s a great way to build connections in the time of COVID-19 for a good cause! We have a number of goals for the event:
Where will the money go?
Funds raised will be used to rebuild and recover community tourism around the world. That means continued emergency grants, training for our project partners, assisting projects with new health and safety measures or investment in other capacity building initiatives. While the Trek Challenge is “in” Nepal this year, that does not mean all funds raised will go to Nepal. This is our first annual trek event, next year we will pick a different trek and we hope you will join that one, too!