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OneSeed Wins Gold at World Responsible Tourism Awards

OneSeed Expeditions has been named the Gold winner in the Best for Local Economic Benefit category at the at World Travel Market in London.

The WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards are presented each year at a three-day event attended by more than 600 leaders in the global travel industry. The awards are the focal point of WTM Responsible Tourism Day.

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“Investing in local communities has been the cornerstone of our adventure travel business since 2011,” said Chris Baker, founder of OneSeed Expeditions. “We are honored to be recognized with others in our industry for committing to socially responsible travel and the positive impact it can have around the world.”

OneSeed spends 79 cents of every dollar in the local economies where it operates: Nepal, Bhutan, Tanzania, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina. This includes 65.8% spent on local suppliers, 3.5% dispersed to local guides through a profit-sharing program, and 10% invested in microcredit to local entrepreneurs to help expand and diversify the economy.

This year’s awards were presented last week in London by BBC’s Tanya Beckett on behalf of WTM Responsible Tourism. Awards were presented in five categories: Best for Wildlife, Best for Communicating Responsible Tourism, Best for Managing Success, Best for Employment, and Best for Local Economic Benefit.

WTM representatives said companies, like OneSeed, are being recognized for practices and initiatives that will inspire others and that are replicable across the industry.

“We want to encourage change in the industry, to single out for recognition those who are taking responsibility and can evidence that they are having a positive impact,” said Dr. Harold Goodwin, Managing Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership and Chair of the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards panel.

OneSeed Expeditions links exploration with investment to develop a completely local supply chain, incentivizes and educates their partners on responsible tourism practices, and uses revenue from OneSeed clients to invest in local businesses through microfinance.

OneSeed won Silver in the Best for Poverty Reduction in 2015 -- and this year, WTM judges singled out OneSeed for significantly growing its program and impact in the last three years.

Learn more: www.responsibletourism.wtm.com/about/responsible-tourism-awards

How to Assess Your Fitness for Mountain Trekking

So how difficult IS it to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Or to hike all the way to Machu Picchu?

All of our expeditions are open to adventurers without previous trekking experience. Whether you want a relaxed walking tour or to push your limits with a high-altitude multi-day trek, our activity level scale indicates the expected level of fitness for each expedition.

It’s important to note that various factors that go into assigning a difficulty level to our trips. Those include altitude, whether it’s self supported (carrying your own pack), the difficulty of the terrain, the climate, and the length of time and miles on the trail.

LEVEL 1

  • These expeditions do not have any fitness requirements. No hiking is required.

  • The only Level 1 expedition we offer is the Serengeti Safari where most of your journey is spent in the car (walking discouraged for obvious reasons!)

LEVEL 2

  • These expeditions include walking or a short hike.

  • A great example would be the 5-day Taste of Peru trip. The perfect combination of sightseeing in town, exploring ancient ruins, and short hikes.

LEVEL 3

  • These expeditions require an average level of fitness and the ability to hike over variable terrain. These are great first treks of 3-6 hours duration on a typical day.

  • We offer a number of Level 3 trips, including our Hidden Colombia expedition. This trip requires several river crossings in hot and humid weather and a fair amount of hiking steep trails and stone steps.

LEVEL 4

  • These expeditions require above average physical fitness. Treks may reach high altitudes and require high levels of physical exertion. No technical skills are required, and first-time trekkers are welcome. Typical days require 5-10 hours of trekking, and some expeditions include significant elevation changes.

  • Most of our trips are rated as a Level 4. Our Ultimate Machu Picchu expedition is a great example of longer days with a few tough climbs up and over high mountain passes like Salkantay Pass. While this trek provides porters, the elevation and sections of steep trekking make it a solid 4.

LEVEL 5

  • These expeditions require excellent physical fitness. Treks include longer days, greater elevation gain, and more challenging terrain at higher altitude. Participants should expect high levels of physical exertion at times. Travelers joining these expeditions should be in good physical shape and should expect to hike all day.

  • Our two hardest treks are Everest Base Camp and our Kilimanjaro climbs. These expeditions earned a Level 5 due to the physical and mental challenges. Both require long days at very high altitudes. Despite being supported treks with porters, they both require stamina and the drive to conquer the mountain.

  • You don’t need to be a skilled mountaineer to tackle these trips - just physically fit and mentally prepared for the once in a lifetime challenge head!