Despite having massive potential and competitive advantage, Nepal only sees a minuscule number of trekkers every year. See the following data from various popular hiking destinations around the world.
While the most important factor is infrastructure, there are also the issues of price and perception. Lower the prices, more the trekkers, period. As for perception, destinations that are perceived safer and easier see a lot more visitors. It is as simple as that. And one of the ways to assure both, is through the use of digital technology.
Enter Himalayas 2.0: a new version of the Himalayas. This campaign is an attempt to bring transparency and community empowerment in mountain travel by providing trekkers with a navigational map with accurate and up-to-date content, and local service providers with direct access to trekkers. And all of this, by mobilizing the talented and passionate youths of Nepal.
Specifically, the big idea is to make sure that
- Trekkers have open access to information on trekking trails.
- Local service providers get their fair share of tourism dividends.
- Trekkers feel safe to undertake any trek in Nepal.
- Manage the flow of trekkers.
To be even more specific, after Himalayas 2.0 there will be:
- AN OFFLINE MAP to help trekkers plan their trek, book services, and get turn-by-turn navigation.
- A DEDICATED TREKKING APP FOR POTENTIAL DESTINATION in ‘Trekking In Nepal’ App alongside Everest and Annapurna. A WIKI of all the treks in Nepal. (See Current Apps for Everest and Annapurna Regions: iOS, Android )
- AN ONLINE LISTING OF ALL THE LODGES AND HOMESTAYS in the Himalayas through the digitized platform created by HoneyGuide in collaboration with the local government of Khumbu: HIVE (Download on Playstore). Also, See current listings of Everest Region.
- KICKASS VIDEOS to showcase the beauty of Nepal.
In a lot of ways Himalayas 2.0 is the culmination of all the campaigns and collaborations HoneyGuide has undertaken in the past 4 years. Some of the key campaigns are:
- ‘Trekking in Nepal’ App (Android / iOS)that has been used by over 30,000 trekkers.
- Celebrate Six Seasons Video Competition which showcased 100+ videos that have been viewed half a million times and counting. The idea behind the campaign was to show that Nepal has something amazing to offer throughout the year.
- Far West Nepal App which showcases the attractions of the Far West Terai. This was in collaboration with GiZ and Tourism Development Society.
- Collaborated with Manang Youth Society to promote the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek.
- Empowering the Himalayas event that brought travelers and tourism stakeholders to discuss how to market Nepal and make sure that local businesses get the most out of tourism.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Under the Himalayas 2.0 Campaign, HoneyGuide has already:
- Partnered with lawmakers and hotels association in Everest to digitize various aspects of tourism in Khumbu. Read more.
- Got applications, writeups, and video samples from over 100 travelers. These are the travel buffs who will go to remote corners of Nepal and promote them through stories and videos.
As such, HoneyGuide is looking to collaborate with:
- Sponsors that wish to see tourism in Nepal grow.
- Local Governments that wish to facilitate the travelers of the Himalayas 2.0 Campaign.
- Lodge Owners and Local Businesses that wish to collaborate on this Campaign.
- Travelers, Scholars, Guides, or anybody who believes in the potential of Nepal.