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Ecotourism in Great Himalayan National Park - Views of Ecotour Operator

Aug 22, 2014


Sunshine Himalayan Adventures: Founded in 1996 , Sunshine Himalayan Adventures (SHA) is an approved EcoTour Operator in the Northern Indian State of Himachal Pradesh (HP) and the one permitted to offer tours in the pristine wilderness of India’s newest National Park – The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP). SHA is dedicated to responsible Eco-tourism principles and tour products that are environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial to the local people. We offer our clients the opportunity to experience the beauty and wonder of the Western Himalayan ecosystem and the exciting culture of the renowned Kullu Valley, known throughout India as the “The Valley of Gods.” The ecotourism program continues developing a paradigm wherein local villagers actually benefit from having their ancestral lands turned into a wilderness preserve. Part of the plan is to train local youths in eco-tourism and trekking so that more resources become available to them than ever in the past while wild nature is preserved for posterity. A plan of simple elegance and sweeping implications!

  • Ecotourism in the GHNP Vision of a Responsible Tour Operator Sunshine Himalayan Adventures (SHA) [email protected]
  • What is an Ecotour Operator Tour operators specializing to cater eco-tours collaborating with local people focused on local nature and culture based tourism. Hence to promote development of ecotourism in the Great Himalayan National Park , which meets the needs and aspirations of the current generation without compromising the ability to meet the needs of future generations.
  • Key Principles Facilitate partnership for planning, implementation, coordination and monitoring ecotourism activities with key stakeholders such as, local communities, NGO, government organizations, tour agents based nationally and internationally Respect local communities culture, tradition and custom. Adherence to international ecotourism principles, guidelines and standards for the development of ecotourism. Generate income sources to local communities preferably to economically disadvantaged through ecotourism activities. Enhance cooperation among the local entrepreneurs such ashome stay operators, tour operators, tour agents government organizations and other key players in the development of ecotourism infrastructures and promotion of ecotourism products. Encourage visitors to learn the biodiversity and ecosystems as well as local peoples cultural and traditional values. Ecotourism promotion and development to conserve nature including biodiversity and ecosystems as well as local peoples culture and tradition of the Great Himalayan National Park
  • Challenges of GHNP at Creation in 2001 Negligible Local Participation in Tourism Unskilled Human Resource Hidden Destination Negligible Outreach Lack of True Ecotourism Experiences & Products Lack of local accommodation or Tour operators Lack of visitor expectations , needs and safety Anti Park movement in local community due to closure of grazing and medicinal herb collection
  • Immediate Stakeholders for SHA Sunshine Himalayan Adventures Park Administration- GHNP Local Community- Unemployed Youth Domestic & International Tourists Local NGOs and WSCG Groups BTCA Travel Industry Delhi & Metros Panchayats & Local Administration
  • Overall Stakeholders
  • Local Capacity Building Organized Five Basic & Advanced Level Interpretative Guide Training programs Organized Specialized training in Bird watching Organized First Aid & Rescue Training Organized Hands-on training for cooks, soft adventure guides, Communication, hygiene etc. Sponsored Ecozone Youth for Mountaineering trainings with the WHMI
  • SHA Unique Experiences
  • Local Capacity Building
  • Developing Unique Experiences Mountaineering Expeditions- Climbed and Named over 5 peaks in GHNP ( Yeshe , Chakri , Snow Leopard, Sentinel peak etc) Wildlife Tours- Ran dedicated tours for Brown Bear / Rare Birds with experts from all over the globe Bird watching Tours- Clicked the First Ever Picture of the Western Tragopan in the Wild Village Treks GHNP Treks Ecozone Tours Forest Learning Program for School Kids Cultural Tours Home stay Accommodations Camps Our List of Ecozone activities crosses over 40 nature & cultural experiences and activities to do eg White Water Scuba Diving
  • Unique Visitor Interpretation
  • Aiding Research & Sustainable Development Giving Park insights into the Tourism Industry & helping with development of SaiRopa / Ropa Complex Development of Butterfly House Several Researches & Ongoing Research on Birds and Wildlife , NTFPs & Fire Studies etc Aiding research on ecotourism with SPJain & various other researchers
  • Marketing & Promotion Click the GHNP photo Contest & sevral other contests to popularize the GHNP in niche market Organized First Reality Adventure Show Had various articles published on GHNP with a strategic plan of marketing Assisted in creating , , Managing all Web2 tools on GHNP Facebook, Youtube etc Took help of volunteers from TIES, SP Jain Institute etc to have a promotion network for GHNP
  • Helping the Park Administration Fine Tuning Visitor Facilities and Information Converting Poachers to birding & wildlife Guides Making Voices & Choices & other outreach material for the park Using trekkers information for anti-poaching & reporting of wildlife through forms Assisting in World Heritage Site Process & Application Full ground logistics provided to all researchers on cost basis
  • Establishing Policies for Ecotourism Assisted in Making Ecotourism Policy for HP in 2005 Made the Sikkim Ecotourism Policy in 2012 with Japanese Experts Doing Active Planning for Ecotourism through consultancies in Himachal, Uttarakhand and Sikkim for various Government Projects Actively Working for ecotourism projects with WWF , BNHS , ADB , JICA for establishing ecotourism as a tool for rural enpowerment
  • Spreading the Fruits of Ecotourism From Over 15 ecotourism youth to Over 150 ecotourism youth Eight New Local Entrepreneurs have started ecotourism Operations From one homestay to over 15 homestays & Guest Houses Guest Arrival Increased almost Tirthan Valley on World Tourism Map ( Great Himalayan National Park soon becoming a world heritage site Ecotourism Leading to growth of flora and fauna in the park Pheasants populations have doubled Ecotourism now an established alternative income generation activity in the GHNP & its Ecozone areas
  • Our Current Initiatives Helping BTCA with establishing effective Ecotourism Self Help Groups & Cooperatives Establishing a model Campsite with community involvement Finalizing Carrying Capacities of Trails of the GHNP Trying to get projects for BTCA to imrove on ecotourism Fighting mass tourism, onslaught of outsiders into the valley & other challenges like hydel development
  • Our Recognition & Rewards AWARDED HONORARY MEMBERSHIP OF Oriental Bird Club Life Membership of Administrative Staff College of India Life Membership World Mountain People Association Invited to Ecotourism Conferences in Bhutan, Sikkim, Uttaranchal, Nepal , Himachal & UK AWARDED HONORARY MEMBERSHIP OF BNHS
  • Future Challenges Metamorphosis from private company model to a cooperative model of ecotourism for more stakeholder distribution Getting Projects for making ecotourism self help groups more sustainable especially in the lean tourist season . ( Apricot & Fruit processing project & Souvenir Making ) Getting more responsible tourist in the area Workshops with local school kids for keeping area clean and healthy & helping initiate zero waste management. Home stay , cooking and other ecotourism related trainings Getting real and needy living off the road closer to the core zone Involved in income generation activities .
  • Picture Gallery
  • Picture Galore
  • Our Partners and Supporters
  • Thank You Sunshine Himalayan Adventures Arya Samaj Street, Akhara Bazar Kullu-175101 Himachal Pradesh , India [email protected] unshine-himalayan-adventures/
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