Planeterra Foundation has launched its first annual ‘Planeterra Trek Challenge’ and is inviting the travel industry to join a virtual trek to Everest Base Camp to help rebuild community tourism around the world following the devastating impact of COVID-19.
This year’s trek places a spotlight on the work of Planeterra’s partners in South Asia, including Nepal, with the challenge being for participants to walk the 65 kilometres (85,000 steps) it takes to climb to Everest Base Camp. The challenge takes place from Sept. 21 to Sept. 27, with participants ‘reaching the top’ on World Tourism Day, Sept. 27, 2020.
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.
Poon Tip said that: “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.”
He continued: “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.” S
Due to the global pandemic and the suspension of global travel, Planeterra’s network of 85 community projects around the world was left without any source of income.
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.
Alanna Wallace, Planeterra’s program and communications manager, explained: “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,”
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.
To join the Planeterra Trek Challenge, hike on over to the following link to register your team: https://www.classy.org/event/the-planeterra-trek-challenge/e292504