Company aims to raise $175k AUD for porter welfare through virtual treks; Participants will have the chance to win one of five trekking tours
Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest adventure travel company and a certified B-Corp, is launching a campaign aptly named “Step Up For Porters” to raise funds through its not-for-profit, The Intrepid Foundation, to support the ethical treatment of porters around the world. The campaign aims to highlight the crucial role porters play on many Intrepid trips, while fundraising for organizations that ensure porters have the equipment, food, wages, and bag weights they need for a safe trek.
Step Up For Porters is a virtual climbing challenge that brings some of the most incredible trekking experiences to your backyard. From June 1-30, 2019, participants will be asked to tackle virtual treks including Everest Base Camp, Kilimanjaro, the Inca Trail and Mount Kinabalu, tackling the mountains that porters around the world do every day – using the Healthwise app to track their steps. The global tour operator hopes the Step Up For Porters challenge will raise $175,000 AUD for porter welfare.
Participants can register at www.stepup.travel for a fee of $18 USD/$22 CAD, with 100% of proceeds donated directly to the Porters Collective, a group of three NGOs supporting porters’ rights: Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), Kathmandu Environmental Education Project, and Awamaki – The Tourism Academy for Porters in Peru.
Steppers can use the app to monitor their progress, set up teams, compete with friends, and more, and can pick a virtual route (or two) to track their progress and figuratively walk in a porter’s shoes. For additional impact, participants can set up a personal fundraiser.
A few lucky steppers will win one of five trekking trips with Intrepid Travel, such as a 15-day Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal and an 8-day Kilimanjaro Marangu Routetrip in Tanzania. An average of 10,000 daily steps is required to be entered into the draw. During the challenge, participants will be notified of even more chances to win.
“Porters are the heart and soul of our trekking trips and are immensely valued by our customers and staff,” said James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel. “While we have strict guidelines on the treatment of porters, we believe more can be done to improve their conditions across the industry. We’re asking everyone, everywhere to Step Up for Porters and make a difference.”
Porters are the heart and soul of most trekking experiences. They take on some of the world’s toughest routes – like Mount Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp – several times a month, while carrying heavy bags, cooking food, and pitching tents, although they’re often the least valued on the mountain: overworked, underfed, and underpaid.
The fundraising initiative is the first step in Intrepid’s Step Up For Porters campaign. The Intrepid Foundation has also commissioned a piece of independent research that aims to shed light on the state of porter welfare around the world.
The results, expected in late June, will be a positive step towards inspiring the tourism industry to take better care of their porters, and to provide porters around the world with better working conditions and an improved quality of life.
“Anyone who’s done a trek understands the importance of porters and the amazing work they do,” said Robyn Nixon, General Manager of The Intrepid Foundation. “We want to help people get fit and do good for porters.”
Visit www.stepup.travel for more information and to register.
Intrepid’s porter policy is available to view here.
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