Our missionHimalayan 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
Who we areHimalayan 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
Follow one of these sections
Our initiatives for a sustainable developmentEnquire
Sustainable ecotourism enterprise
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.
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
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
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.
Where we are
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 teamEnquire
Stephan MarchalManaging Director and Eco-development specialist
'Tintin in the Himalayas'
of the cooperative
'Motivational speaker in Pahadi language'
Trek and travel
Tsering DolkarSocial coordinator
Ladakh and Zanskar
of the cooperative
'Good mood specialist'
of the cooperative
Member of the cooperative
'Certified dreamcatcher for local women'
BhumaPresident of the Pekhri Women SHG
Women-based ecotourism & Education program
Making of local products
Ladakh and Zanskar
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 SinghThe 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 Leneveuhas 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. StevensA 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 PandeyThe 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 TandonEx-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 GastonMain 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 DrèzeAn 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 MudgilA 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 VedA 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’SilvaAn 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 ReddyAn 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.
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 :
Many thanks ! :-)
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Recognition of Himalayan Ecotourism
Himalayan Ecotourism is the winner of the To Do award 2022 in the field of "Socially Responsible Tourism".
We are also the Overall Winner of the Indian Responsible Tourism Award 2019 and the Gold winner in the Best Adventure Operator category.
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 conserve the Himalayas are the main reasons for winning these awards.
Thank you to all our cooperative members, our customers, our friends and well-wishers !