Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) was formed and registered with the Kathmandu CDO Office in 1979 by a handful of trekking agents who realized that it was time to assemble and create an umbrella organization under which they could work together to meet their common goals and also assist the government by providing suggestions to develop trekking business into a revenue generating industry. Such a body was necessary for many reasons. There was a need for a single organization, which could undertake the major responsibilities to develop and promote adventure tourism in the country. The need for a responsible body, which could play a significant and conducive role to mitigate mountain environmental stress, was felt essential.
Since the inception of TAAN not only the trekking agencies have been increasing, and so has the TAAN members. TAAN limited its membership only to Nepalese trekking agents at its initial phase. Nevertheless, it opened its associate membership to foreign organizations to broaden the scope of the Association.
TAAN members (921 General Members, 7 Associate Members and 71 general members of TAAN Regional Pokhara Chapter) meet annually to endorse policy guidelines, which govern the Executive Body. It frequently communicates with the concerned bodies of the government to simplify the procedures and solve the problems related with trekking. TAAN has four Sub-Committees, which assist to meet its objectives. It also organizes workshops to make trekking agents aware of the rising pollution in trekking routes and other problems encountered by the trekkers and trekking agents. The executive body, which is elected every two years, has 8 office bearers, 9 Executive Members, 1 immediate Past President, 1 Chapter Representative and 4 Nominate Executive Member/s.
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.
The TAAN conducts and participates in various activities in order to achieve its objectives. Some of these activities are of regular nature and the rest take place as and when necessary. The main regular activities of the association are as follows:
- 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, land slide, 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 Executive Secretary. The secretariat is happy to provide information on trekking, mountaineering and other aspects of tourism.