SNV, a non-profit international development organisation with headquarters in the Netherlands is supporting Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN), and other stakeholders to implement the Great Himalaya Trail Development Programme (GHTDP) in Dolpo, Gorkha, Humla, Solukhumbu and Taplejung. The programme is expected to accelerate tourism development in these areas by providing vocational training to local communities and offering support for local businesses to stimulate job creation and income generating as well as infrastructure development and improved health services for local people through tourism sector. The Great Himalaya Trail Development Programme (GHTDP) was launched in the Solukhumbu district on 29th May, 2011 on the occasion of International Sagarmatha (Everest) Day and Solukhumbu Tourism Festival 2011.
Commercial trekking on the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) has begun. Two private companies- Nepalese and Australian- are jointly marketing this product. Nepal government had introduced GHT as a new product to during the inauguration of Nepal Tourism Year 2011 on Jan. 14. GHT is 4,500 km long and passes through Pakistan, the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar. The Nepali section of the GHT extends from Darchula and Humla in the west to Kanchenjunga in the east, and takes some 157 days to trek.The trek in Nepal is divided into seven sections of 18-34 days each. As most people won’t have sufficient time to complete this adventure at one go, the company has devised seven treks that can be linked to make up the full traverse. The trip will be offered each year so that adventurers may choose to undertake the entire GHT over a number of years.
Nepal Tourism Year 2011’s Main Organizing Committee introduced four different tourism products on 14th January, during the inaugural ceremony of NTY 2011. The four products are The Great Himalayan Trail (GHT), Mighty East, Wild West Triangle and Terai Tourism.
As the name suggests, The Great Himalayan Trail is the world’s longest and highest trekking trail. It stretches from Humla in the west to Kanchenjunga in the east. To complete the Great Himalayan Trail one needs to take an ardous 150 days trek. Mighty East offers packages related to adventure tourism – trekking, mountaineering and travel along the ridges of the mighty Himalayan peaks located in Eastern Nepal.
Wild West Triangle has been launched to promote tourism in the mid and far-western regions of Nepal. It incorporates tours to three protected areas – Bardiya National Park in Bardiya district, Rara National Park in Mugu and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in Kanchanpur. Terai Tourism promotes religious, historical and archaeological sites in the southern Terai plains.
I felt the staff did their best to provide good service- even the higher in altitude we went- and I must say, were extremely friendly and courteous.