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TORONTO — Planeterra Foundation is inviting all those in the travel industry to join a virtual trek to Everest Base Camp as part of its first annual ‘Planeterra Trek Challenge.’
The non-profit partner of G Adventures and G Touring launched the challenge to help rebuild community tourism around the world following the devastating impact of COVID-19. Bruce Poon Tip, founder of Planeterra and G Adventures and owner of G Touring, has already built his team and has pledged to match donations from participating teams and donors up to $25,000.
This year’s trek shines a spotlight on the work of Planeterra’s partners in South Asia, including Nepal. The challenge takes place from Sept. 21-27, with participants ‘reaching the top’ on World Tourism Day, Sept. 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,” says Poon Tip. “Most of us are missing travelling 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.”
Poon Tip is extending the invitation to agency partners and their friends and family, suppliers and the wider tourism industry to join in raising much-needed funds. Donations collected will provide kickstarter funding for communities around the world that need to invest in new health and safety measures and contribute to training for safe reopening.
Planeterra’s network of 85 community projects around the world was left without any source of income when global travel was suspended due to the pandemic. According to Poon Tip, local people and their communities need funds fast in order to rebuild and recover.
“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,” he adds.
Planeterra is preparing a series of unique content and stories online that will celebrate and highlight community tourism. This includes interviews with travellers who have summited Everest, interviews with community tourism leaders as well as cooking demonstrations.
The Planeterra Trek Challenge will be supported across Planeterra’s social media channels. Agents can learn more about the campaign and how to sell trips to Everest Base Camp via the Agents of Change Facebook group. Throughout the month of September, Planeterra will post videos, blogs, webinars with special guests and other information about its work in the region.
To join the Planeterra Trek Challenge go to https://www.classy.org/event/the-planeterra-trek-challenge/e292504.