Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) is an umbrella association of trekking agencies in the country. It was established in 1979 by a handful of trekking agency operators who felt it was time to devise sound business principles as well as regulate the sector which was growing by leaps and bounds with every passing year. They also felt the need of a strong lobby group that could suggest to the government on several issues to promote the Nepali tourism industry and develop tourism as a revenue generating industry.
Initially, TAAN had limited its membership only to Nepalese trekking agencies. It later opened associate membership to foreign organizations to broaden the scope of the association.
TAAN members (around 1,518 General Members, 7 Associate Members and 142 General Members of TAAN Regional Association Pokhara) meet annually to endorse policy guidelines which govern the executive body. The executive committee work as per the TAAN Statute and guidelines of the Annual General Body meeting. The association frequently communicates with different government agencies and other stakeholders to simplify working procedures and resolve problems related to the trekking sector. The executive committee, which is elected every two years, has eight office-bearers, nine executive committee members, four nominated executive members, one immediate past president and one representative from TAAN Regional Association Pokhara.
TAAN has 17 departments, which are led by office-bearers or executive committee members, which assist the executive committee to meet its objectives. The association organizes different trainings and workshops on a regular basis to enhance professionalism of its member agencies and their workforce. It organizes number of events like TAAN Lhosar Festival (February 17), Langtang Marathon Championship (April 25), International Sagarmatha Day and TAAN Day (May 29), World Environment Day (June 5), and World Tourism Day (September 27), among others. Likewise, programs like tree plantation, trekking trails and rivers clean-up campaign, and works to promote agro tourism and good sanitation are organized throughout the year.
TAAN also join hands with number of government agencies and travel trade associations to organize different programs and activities.
Some principle visions of TAAN
- Environment: environment is protected, not eroded by our operations; we will take every opportunity to enhance it.
- Trekking employees: Trekking tourism sector employees are given opportunities to develop to their full potential; preserve their basic rights.
- Customers: with higher values, quality service, our customers will be provided with mainstream sustainable products as the norm.
- Communities: fully respected, will be benefit from all of our operations.
- Infrastructure: well developed basic infrastructure through partnerships with national, international as well as local stakeholders.
- Business value: socially and environmentally responsible, ensuring sustainable profits.
Objectives of TAAN
- Develop and promote mountain tourism in Nepal.
- Contribute to preserve the mountain environment of Nepal.
- Contribute for the uplift of mountain economy of Nepal.
- Preserve the rights and promote member trekking agencies.
- Extend to the best of its ability, help, cooperate and advice individuals interested in trekking.
- Make a wide search of the new trails and regions feasible for trekking and help the Government of Nepal and trekking agencies for its further development.
- Regularize the facilities provided by member trekking agencies to their staff, including porters.
- Provide necessary opinions and advise government for the formulation of the rules and regulations related to mountain tourism and facilities and incentives to be provided to trekking agencies.
- Promote mountain tourism in collaboration with various government and semi-government bodies, domestic and international NGOs.
- Cooperate with national and international organizations dealing with trekking and mountaineering training for the formulation of practical courses of study.
TAAN conducts and participates in various activities in order to achieve its objectives. The main regular activities of the association are as follows:
Construction & Developmental Activities
- Construction and maintenance of trekking and transportation trails leading to the trekking and mountaineering destinations,
- Construction of trail bridges, porter shelters and view towers.
Trainings & Human Resources Development
- To Organize different training programs to enhance the skill of Trekking Guides like: nature training, bird watching training, leadership training, first aid and mountain medicine, map and navigation training, travel photography training, campsite management training, media reporting trainings etc.
- To organize training programs for the trekking cook and helpers.
- To organize training for trekking tourism entrepreneurs / managers like business correspondence training, social media and digital marketing training and other management trainings
- To organize training/workshop/seminars in the issues regarding business operation, international tourism marketing trends etc.
- To organize different meetings, conferences, seminars and talks programs on tourism.
- To participate in tourism related fairs, marts and conferences within and outside the country.
- To submit advices/ suggestions on matters relating to tourism promotion to the Government of Nepal regularly.
- To publish and distribute complimentary copies of newsletter, member directory and other useful booklets pertaining to tourism.
- To establish cordial relations and exchange delegations with organizations of other countries.
- To support and recommend its members on promotional activities.
- To organize training and workshop on environment awareness courses.
- To participate in and support government's World Environment Day program.
- To organize various environment conservation programs such as Afforestation and Clean-up Program.
- To organize various student level competitions to raise environment awareness among them.
- To organize Talk Programs with the view to educate the concerned general public about the importance of tourism and maintenance of ecological balance. Talks are delivered by renowned experts on the subject.
- TAAN T-shirts (with a slogan and logo for environmental awareness) are sold at the TAAN secretariat. Proceeds from the sales are used for conducting nature conservation activities.
- To raise and deliver the fund for the victims of various disasters like earthquake, landslide, flood etc.
- To assist people in distress by dispatching rescue teams to help at times of mishaps like bus, air and other accidents.
- To raise and deliver the fund for the maintenance of bridges and roads in trekking region. The association has a well- managed secretariat headed by the Chief Executive Officer. The secretariat is happy to provide information on trekking, mountaineering and other aspects of tourism.
- Since its inception, TAAN has been extending its helpful hands in any emergency response. Its’ members have collected pennies to support the people in need. In many cases, it has mediated to provide relief to the victims of natural calamity. Its presence during the firing in eastern Nepal, flooding in Terai, landslides in hilly areas have been remarkable.
- TAAN played a major role representing private sector to rescue the Hudhud victims in 2014 from Annapurnas of western Nepal.
- Similarly, TAAN worked with World Food Program after mega earthquake of 2015, in opening community trails, reconstructing trekking trails and distributing relief material in several VDCs of Rasuwa, Dhading and Gorkha districts.