Travel for Others Onlus aims to promote responsible tourism in the Himalayan region, and introduce European people to an alternative mountain tourism in foreign countries that respects environmental and cultural heritage.
The Thame Valley in the Everest region has enormous potential for education and for the preservation of the local environment. This is an area just off the main tourist route but one that is increasingly vulnerable to trekking pressure and the changes this brings. The key purpose is to modify the impact of tourism on the area by changing the attitudes of visitor. By organising environmental education programmes the project hopes to develop qualified and sustainable tourism in the area. The intention is to do this by producing a bio-tourism guide to the area. The second objective is to undertake environmental activities in the area with a local teacher and the third objective is to train local Sherpa guides in order to manage the benefit of tourism in a way that was not done in the more heavily visited Khumbu Valley area. The local Thame School will also be involved in environmental activities to support the project.
Following various changes to the project, due to problems on the ground in Nepal, yet still staying true to the ultimate goal of promoting sustainable tourism, the project built an environmental trail up the Thame valley. Completed late in 2008, it involved the local population in the siting and construction work as well as the collation of information for each stage of the trail. The local school of Thame was instrumental to the project, with a large environmental education programme now being taught in the school to ensure the longevity and legacy of the project. The educational programme also involves the re-training of local teachers in ecological and environmental issues. The project has also promoted the area as well as educating trekkers how to use the trail responsibly.