Top News Planeterra invites people to virtual trek for a cause By TTG Asia / Posted on 3 September, 2020 15:56 Planeterra Foundation has launched its first annual Planeterra Trek Challenge and is inviting the travel industry to join a virtual trek to Everest Base Camp to help rebuild community tourism ravaged by the coronavirus. This year’s trek spotlights the work of Planeterra’s partners in South Asia, including Nepal, with the challenge being for participants to walk the 65km, or 85,000 steps, it takes to climb to Everest Base Camp. The challenge takes place from September 21-27, with participants ‘reaching the top’ on World Tourism Day, September 27. Planeterra issues a virtual trek challenge to Everest Base Camp to help rebuild community tourism; rows of prayer flags at a memorial site in the Everest Base Camp, Nepal pictured Planeterra’s founder, Bruce Poon Tip, has already built his own team, and pledged to match donations from participating teams, and donors, up to CAD$25,000 (US$19,085). Bruce is inviting agency partners, suppliers, and the wider tourism industry to join the foundation in raising awareness and much-needed funds. “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,” he said. “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.” Bruce added: “We also want to spotlight this iconic region for travel that is currently void of tourists. 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.” Funds raised through Planeterra’s initiative will go towards helping its network of 85 community projects around the world rebuild, after the pandemic-induced travel standstill left them without any source of income. “We are 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 and cooking demonstrations. Anyone who loves travel is going to want to get involved,” added Alanna Wallace, Planeterra’s program and communications manager. The Planeterra Trek Challenge will be supported across Planeterra’s social media channels and agents can learn more about the campaign and how to sell trips to Everest Base Camp via the Agents of Change Facebook group. Throughout September, Planeterra will be posting videos, blogs, webinars with special guests, and other information about their work in the region, as well as tips for trekking in Nepal and the unique and inspiring aspects about travel in South Asia. Donations collected will provide kickstarter 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. Register your team to join the Planeterra Trek challenge here.