Intrepid Travel 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 trip.
Step Up for Porters is a virtual climbing challenge scheduled from June 1-30, 2019, where 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 while using the Healthwise app to track their steps. The global tour operator is hoping the Step Up For Porters challenge will raise $175,000 AUD for porter welfare.
Steppers can use the Healthwise app to monitor their progress, set up teams, compete with friends 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 eight-day Kilimanjaro Marangu route trip 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 often take on 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 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 are expected in late June, will be a 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.
For more information, visit www.stepup.travel for more information and to register. In addition, the Intrepid’s porter policy is available to view here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/us/porter-policy.