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Outdoor Himalayan Treks Joins the Ranks of the whl.travel Global Grassroots Travel Network

  • whl.travel
  • 14 April 2009

Nepal Launches the First of two Locally-Owned Travel-Booking Portals

A longer PDF version of this announcement is available as a download.

Independent travellers to Nepal and hoteliers in Kathmandu have both celebrated the early-April launch of www.kathmanduhotel-link.com. A locally owned and operated travel-booking portal, it propels Kathmandu-based small- and medium-sized tourism operators into the global e-marketplace.

“This initiation of connecting local hoteliers to the international market will aid in the promotion of Nepal’s beautiful destinations and unique products,” said the Prachanda Man Shrestha, CEO of the Nepal Tourism Board. “Nepal Tourism Board applauds…this endeavour that will certainly help the tourism of the country in the long run.”

www.kathmanduhotel-link.com is the 156th locally managed destination website brought to the public by whl.travel, the global grassroots travel network catering to independent and responsible travellers. The Kathmandu website is also the first of two currently planned for Nepal and the 14th travel portal in South Asia, adding to others in India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Outdoor Himalayan Treks (OHT) joins whl.travel as its local partner in Nepal with full responsibility for the website. In operation for five years, OHT organises treks designed to give travellers greater insight into the land, culture and its people. With a friendly, dedicated and professional staff of 18 full-timers and 16 part-time guides, OHT also offers a full range of travel services, including accommodation bookings and airline ticketing.

whl.travel was won over by OHT’s commitment to sustainable tourism. Most of OHT’s trekking clients are taken to remote villages, where they can experience traditional ways of life and develop greater understanding of their culture. Guests are encouraged and often motivated to volunteer on projects or provide financial assistance. OHT goes one step further by supporting volunteer-worker initiatives and even providing donations to promising projects and organising charity treks. In addition, OHT’s managing director, Rajendra Prasad Sapotkam, once an orphan himself, has founded and through OHT continues to support an orphanage home in Kathmandu for displaced kids.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, played a catalytic role in bringing together whl.travel and the Nepal tourism industry. The development of www.kathmanduhotel-link.com received support from IFC Advisory Services in South Asia – the South Asia Enterprise Development Facility – co-funded by the United Kingdom’s DFID, European Union, CIDA (Canada) and the governments of Norway and Netherlands. IFC has supported similar whl.travel undertakings in Cape Verde, Madagascar, Senegal, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania and Vietnam.

For more information, include press contacts, download the longer PDF version of this announcement.

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Asia, local knowledge, mountains, Nepal, new local connections, responsible travel, South-Central Asia, WHL Group news, whl.travel,

One Response to “Outdoor Himalayan Treks Joins the Ranks of the whl.travel Global Grassroots Travel Network”

  1. Firstly, we, at Outdoor Himalayan Treks (Kathmandu, Nepal), wish to thank whl.travel and IFC for their continued support as a result of which, we have made it to this stage. Since our appointment as Nepal’s only MPO of whl.travel back in November 2008, we have gathered a whole new set of experiences. Most were sweet and memorable while some were bitter. Nonetheless, we were able to learn a great deal and to tackle all the challenges on our way. We owe this accomplishment to the whl.travel team, IFC and all the hoteliers and organisations who were with us all the while. Needless to say, we need their cooperation in the future also.

    We are proud to join the WHL network as its Marketplace Operator and at the same time, honoured to be the local connection for independent travellers to Nepal. We are also very much impressed by the Caring for Destination initiative of whl.travel. It is indeed very encouraging to find such an active collaborator in our own efforts to promote the destinations where we operate while helping to preserve their environmental, social and cultural values. We hope this collaboration will be a milestone in Nepal’s tourism sector. Our priority remains with responsible tourism and we endeavour to make tourism in our country a clean and sustainable industry. We would gladly accept any suggestions from hotels, tour operators, organisations or individuals in Nepal and other parts of the globe. We look forward to making this mission a success by exploring beyond the geographical barriers.

    Hurray! We can’t wait to celebrate the beginning of our new journey, i.e. the launch of our first site (www.KathmanduHotel-Link.com). If everything goes as planned, we’ll soon be launching our second site (dedicated to the city of Pokhara).

    Thanks to everybody who believed in us. Cheers to you all!

    – Navin & the OHT Family

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