Ready to hike to Mount Everest? Planeterra Foundation founder Bruce Poon Tip is inviting members of the travel industry to join him on a virtual trek up to the highest peak for a worthy cause.
The Planeterra Foundation is the non-profit partner of G Adventures and G Touring and the organization has launched the first annual Planeterra Trek Challenge.
Travel industry members can join the virtual trek to Everest Base Camp and help rebuild community tourism around the world following the devastating impact of COVID-19.
This year, the focus is on Planeterra’s partners in South Asia, including Nepal. The challenge is for participants to walk the 65 kilometers (85,000 steps), which are the number of steps it takes to hike to Everest Base Camp.
The challenge is taking place on September 21-27, 2020. Following this schedule, participants will ‘reach the top’ on World Tourism Day, September 27, 2020.
“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,” said Poon Tip. “Most of us are missing traveling 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.
Poon Tip has built his own team and pledged to match donations from participating teams, and donors, up to $25,000 CAD.
“We also want to spotlight this iconic region for travel that is currently void of tourists,” he said. “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.”
Planeterra has 85 communities around the world that are now without sources of income as there are no travelers. These local communities need funds 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.
“We are preparing a series of unique content and stories online that will celebrate and highlight community tourism. This includes interviews with travelers who have summited Everest, interviews with community tourism leaders and cooking demonstrations. Anyone who loves travel is going to want to get involved,” said Alanna Wallace, Planeterra’s program and communications manager.
Donations will provide 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.
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