Our mission

Himalayan Ecotourism aims at restoring a symbiotic relationship between the rural communities and all other forms of life in the Himalayas.

Based on our understanding of the inherent connection between social welfare and conservation, our strategy is to provide opportunities to the local communities for -
  • Economic Prosperity through a sustainable and ethical tourism business model
  • Women Empowerment through establishment of their micro-enterprises
  • Forest Regeneration through community-based interventions
  • Child Development considering tomorrow's local and global challenges
Fairness, inclusiveness, transparency, respect and honesty are the set of values that we nurture to achieve our goals.

Who we are

Himalayan Ecotourism (HET) is an award-winning social enterprise using tourism as an opportunity to promote sustainable development in the Western Himalayas.
At the heart of HET is the vision to build empowered communities that advocate conservation. The thriving ecosystems in the region are under threat at the moment due to rampant, competitive and exploitative industrialization. HET aims to bring ethics and sustainability to doing business.

We are a consortium of sustainability leaders and industry professionals, the “GHNP Community-Based Ecotourism Cooperative society”, the local women’s group and the NGO "Himalayan INSIGHT" working to realize the common goal of conservation and eco-friendly development of the region in the vicinity of the Great Himalayan National Park.

As a trek and travel operator we take you for offbeat travels and trekking experiences in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh.





A quick insight into the Himalayan Ecotourism organization


Himalayan Ecotourism system



Follow one of these sections

Our initiatives

Our initiatives

What do we undertake as a social enterprise for a sustainable development.

Where we are in the himalayas

Where we are

As a tour and trek operator, we operate from the heart of the Western Himalayas.

Our team

Our team

Those who made Himalayan Ecotourism to emerge as a genuine social enterprise.

Acknowledgment

Acknowledgment

Those who deserve our big thanks and our lifetime gratitude.

Adventure activities in the GHNP

Get involved

Join Himalayan Ecotourism as an intern, a volunteer or a reseacher.

Wildlife tours in the GHNP

Contact us

Our team will be delighted to help you in whatever way we can !





Our initiatives for a sustainable development

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Himalayan Ecotourism local social enterprise

Our cooperative society

At the core of Himalayan Ecotourism are the 65 members of our local cooperative.

Sustainable ecotourism enterprise

Local communities are the best advocates for environmental conservation. HET aims to create employment in the Tirthan Valley and to protect the Great Himalayan National Park and its ecozone through sustainable tourism practices based on a cooperative model that gives its members the opportunity to make a living respectably and the power to make decisions beneficial to their communities and the environment.

Explore the untouched, off-beat Himalayan trails, treks and homestays with the empowered locals that constitute the pillar of Himalayan Ecotourism !

Learn more about our social enterprise model.


Women empowerment

Women in the region don’t experience the same social status or respect in the communities as men.

We believe that women play a crucial role in keeping the community development within the limits of sustainability. More than men, women have an innate sense of responsibility towards the natural resources and hence, towards the well-being of our future generations.

That is why women emancipation and empowerment are at the centre of our efforts towards conservation. No society can truly reform itself unless it doesn’t give women the respect and status they deserve.

We help them getting organized in Women Self-Help Groups (WSHG), after which, we help them managing their microenterprise in making of local products. We also give them important responsibilities in our reforestation and education programs.

Learn more about our women empowerment program
Himalayan Ecotourism women empowerment

Women Self-Help Group

From the village Pekhri, discussing the area to be selected for next phase of our reforestation.



Himalayan Ecotourism child development program

A Sunday activity

Explaining the local kids how plastic trashes can damage the environment

Child development

Children are another important focus of our social intervention.
Typically, the adults in rural India are resistant to changes in their lifestyle, whereas the children's natural curiosity offers an incredible opportunity to prepare them as future responsible leaders of a more sustainable society.

Therefore, we took the initiative to begin reforming the education system in the Himalayas bit by bit by introducing advanced teaching techniques, and by training village women to become teachers in the schools we set up.

Join our volunteering / internship programs to support our social initiatives.

Learn more about our child development program.


Himalayan Reforestation Program

HET aims at creating a synergy between humans and their environment. Part of our profits have been dedicated to reforesting barren areas of the ecozone of the Great Himalayan National Park that have suffered due to deforestation and forest fires.
We have worked with experts in the field of forestry and conservation to explore a model of reforestation that actually works.

Since the Pandemic in 2020, our reforestation program has developed as another means of income generation for the people in the valley as tourism came to a grinding halt.

Read about our Carbon Offsetting Program to join us in achieving our goal of reforesting an area of 5 sq km on the barren mountains of the Tirthan Valley.

Learn more about our reforestation program.
Himalayan Ecotourism Planting trees

Planting trees

Our first plantation operation that happened during the winter 2019-2020.





Where we are

map location himalayan ecotourism

In the heart of the Himalayas

We identified the areas in the periphery of The Great Himalayan National Park as the focus area of our impact. The park was established in 1999 and inscribed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in June 2014.
There are many reasons why this makes it an ideal location for our work.
The area is closely and well-connected to major tourist hubs in Himachal Pradesh – Spiti, Shimla, Dharamshala, Kullu-Manali but at the same time offers our travellers respite from the crowds of typical tourist places and an unexplored side to the mountains.

Our affiliated organizations are spread across the Himalayas including Spiti and Ladakh.
Over the years, we have worked closely with the communities based in the Tirthan Valley to help empower them through sustainable, environmentally- friendly initiatives, keeping them at the forefront of the conservation goals and social initiatives in the region.


Meet our team

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Stephan Marchal Stephan Marchal

Stephan Marchal

Managing Director and Eco-development specialist
'Tintin in the Himalayas'
Keshav Thakur Keshav Thakur

Keshav Thakur

President
of the cooperative
'Motivational speaker in Pahadi language'

Tanmayi Gidh Tanmayi Gidh

Tanmayi Gidh

Projects coordinator
Content creator
Official coffee maker
prachi jetley prachi jetley

Prachi Jetley

Sustainable business development
Tree-hugger

Tara Chand Tara Chand

Tara Chand

Secretary
of the cooperative
'Good mood specialist'
Sanju Negi Sanju Negi

Sanju Negi

Treasurer
of the cooperative

Tek Singh Tek Singh

Tek Singh

Alias 'Teku Pekhri'
Member of the cooperative
Hema Devi Hema Devi

Hema Devi

Customer care

Jagita Jagita

Jagita

Women-based ecotourism
Education program
'Certified dreamcatcher for local women'
Bhuma Bhuma

Bhuma

President of the Pekhri Women SHG
Women-based ecotourism & Education program

Meena Meena

Meena

Trekking equipment
Making of local products
Avneet Singh Avneet Singh

Avneet Singh

Co-founder
'Our manufacturer of new ideas'

Diviya Diviya

Diviya

Education program
Yashoda Yashoda

Yashoda

Education program

Acknowledgment

Enquire



Thank you friends !


No social venture can truly build itself, survive and strengthen itself through a decade without the help of many well-meaning, supportive people who come forward to help the initiative because they share a common vision. We are forever grateful to our mentors, supporters and partners who are the wind beneath the wings of Himalayan Ecotourism.

Avneet Singh
The Co-founder of Himalayan Ecotourism, Mr Singh has been an integral part of our story. His marketing and planning skills, with his exemplar generosity, found us a way through the ruthless business world.
Thierry Leneveu
has been a crucial supporter of our organization when we were just an emerging organization in the valley. The quality we can offer you today as a trek operator would never have been possible without the immense contribution of Thierry.
Payson R. Stevens
A businessman, a community-lover and an environmental scientist to organizations like NASA. Mr Stevens has played a crucial role in giving a concrete shape to our company as a social enterprise. He is now a painter, an artist and a decisive friend of the GHNP.
Sanjeeva Pandey
The first director of GHNP, ex-PCCF of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Pandey has constantly encouraged our grassroot movement in the ecozone of the GHNP since its start. By extending the support of the park, he helped us realize the vision of empowering communities and we continue to seek his mentorship.
Vinay Tandon
Ex-Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Himachal Pradesh, Mr Tandon’s immense love for the Himalayan forests extended into his goodwill for our projects. He is deeply dedicated to empowering women and has provided great insights for our work.
Tony Gaston
Main research investigator of the establishment of GHNP, Mr Gaston has been one of our primary backbones of the reforestation programmes in the ecozone. His guidance made it easier for HET’s journey through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jean Drèze
An Indian welfare economist and a social scientist, Mr Dreze has been a longstanding friend of Stephan, connecting us with brilliant interns and researchers across India. We remain thankful for his ongoing mentorship through the years.
Partha Mudgil
A loyal friend of many HET members, Mr Mudgil’s yearly visits and treks in the GHNP have been a wonderful time for strategizing, thinking and dreaming about a better world.
Nimesh Ved
A freelance journalist, a writer, Mr Ved is deeply passionate about conservation. He has been a kind friend, offering mentorship in reaching a larger audience.
Emmanuel D’Silva
An Agriculture and Environment scientist, a writer and a lecturer, Mr D’Silva has been one of core motivators in establishing our reforestation and carbon offsetting projects. He has worked on multiple development projects in Asia and Africa with the World Bank, now however, focuses on grassroot projects in India related to conservation agriculture, converting waste into biogas, and climate change.
Mohan Reddy
An advisor at Zenith Energy, Mr Reddy has been providing consultancy services in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change. Our path into the carbon market wouldn’t have been the same without his guidance. Further, his passion to act on the consequences of climate change has always inspired us.


Photo credits


We are very grateful to all our members, guests or friends who have kindly shared their photographs. We proudly display some of them on this website. Our photo contributors :

Avneet Singh
Stephan Marchal
Rolf Leurink
Denis Harle
Anup Kulkarni
Simon Keizer
Mihir Mohit
Mohan Lal
Partha Mudgil
Saurabh Ganguli
Sanjeeva Pandey


Many thanks ! :-)




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Recognition of Himalayan Ecotourism

Himalayan Ecotourism Awards

Our awards

Himalayan Ecotourism is the Overall Winner of the Indian Responsible Tourism Award 2019. We are also the Gold winner in the Best Adventure Operator category.
On the international scene, we have been declared winner of the Sustainable Tourism Award 2019 by Skal International and Biosphere.
Our cooperative-based model of social enterprise and our efforts to protect the Himalayas are the main reasons for winning these awards.
Thank you to all our cooperative members, our customers, our friends and well-wishers !