Press releases

Posted by Andy on Sunday, March 31, 2013

Press release, December 29, 2008

iTrekNepal Offers Sure Thing for Adventure Travelers in Asia in Uncertain Times
Portland, OR December 29, 2008
iTrekNepal completed a significant round of equity funding to offer sure thing for adventure travelers in Asia. iTrek has a unique model whereby clients can use their sophisticated website, www.itreknepal.com, to book trips, talk to native English speaking bookings staff who will assist with custom itineraries and yet don’t have to pay until they arrive in Nepal. In November, Snow Lion Expeditions, a Salt Lake City based adventure travel company with over 17 years of experience, went bankrupt. This situation lead to clients who were already on the ground being stranded and clients who have booked for upcoming trips, many with plane tickets already purchased, scrambling to find alternative solutions. The Salt Lake Tribune quoted Snow Lion Expeditions’ CEO Ron Barness as saying, “We’re essentially out of business. This is a really sad story. We’ve served 3,000 people in 17 years and had a wonderful track record.” According to the article Barness is no longer taking reservations though their Website remains online without notice of this fact. With the growing global economic crisis, it is essential that touring companies have stable funding and sound business model. iTreknepal has both these components. In September, iTreknepal completed a significant round of equity funding that was generated from its unique business model of providing high quality Asian travel experiences with local salaried guides. “Many touring companies just use local ground operators, who are not employees, to lead their expeditions. iTrekNepal has staff on the ground to guarantee our clients receive a high quality trip,” says Leigh Wilson, iTrek CEO. iTrekNepal sound principles and culturally aware business practices puts them on a course to become the leading adventure company in Nepal – Asia. About iTrekAsia: iTrekAsia started in Nepal as a trekking tour operator equally committed to the satisfaction of its clients as well as to the betterment its Nepalese staff. All iTrek adventures have been carefully researched to ensure very safe and enjoyable trips. Only the best accommodations, guides and porters are used, and any trek can be customized to a client’s preferences.

 

 

Press release, September 4, 2008

iTrekAsia Poised to Become Major Adventure Travel Company With New Angel Funding

Portland, OR September 4, 2008
iTrekAsia, an adventure travel company dedicated to providing high quality, unique travel experiences throughout Asia, has announced that it has completed a significant round of equity funding, led by private investment firms Lucky Developments and Gramercy Ventures. iTrekAsia has also announced that Nick Clayton, President of Lucky developments and Amy Swartz. Director of Corporate Development for Gramercy Ventures have joined its board of directors. Nick Clayton has had a successful career as an ‘angel investor’, taking majority stakes in several private companies that specialize in unique travel and leisure markets. Ms. Swartz is one of three co-founders of Gramercy Venture Advisors, which has offices in the US and Australia. The company also announced that Trapp Lewis has joined the team as director and an investor, bringing to iTrekAsia his extensive experience as an online media specialist. “We’re extremely pleased to have investors and board members of this caliber to help us build this company,” stated Leigh Wilson, CEO and co-founder of iTrekAsia. “Our plan is to aggressively grow the company so we can expand with the same high quality travel experiences we are known for in Nepal across the entire Asian market.” iTrekAsia differentiates itself from competitors by providing adventure itineraries targeted at sophisticated consumers who are seeking travel expeditions more upscale than the backpacking experience, yet not as rigid and formal as the standard guided tour. “With its emphasis on quality and flexibility iTrekAsia should become the gold standard for the adventure travel experience in Asia,” said Nick Clayton. “iTrekAsia has the potential to become the leading adventure travel expert in the whole of Asia.”

iTrekAsia seeks to be the premier provider of adventure trekking in the countries and regions in which it operates.

About iTrekAsia iTrekAsia started in Nepal as a trekking company equally committed to the satisfaction of its clients as well as to the betterment its Nepalese staff. All iTrek adventures have been carefully researched to ensure very safe and enjoyable trips. Only the best accommodations, guides and porters are used, and any trek can be customized to a client’s preferences. ITrekNepal’s business model proved to be a huge success with customers, generating tremendous customer satisfaction with its product offerings. To leverage the success of its Nepal operation by creating other iterations throughout Asia, iTrekAsia was conceived and is being created to optimize the brand.

For additional information pertaining to this release contact: 
David Westbrook (503) 408-6359 or Andy Leonard (503) 522-1747.

About Nick Clayton
For the last several years, apart from an interval at Harvard, Nick Clayton has had a career as an ‘angel investor’, taking majority stakes in many private companies located around the world, then taking a position as a non-executive director in them. That business involvement continued during his stint as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD’s Singapore campus, where he assisted in the teaching of entrepreneurship while helping students start their own businesses. He has earned an MA in Economics from Cambridge University in England, an MBA from INSEAD, and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

About Leigh Wilson
Leigh has thirty years trekking and mountaineering experience in many countries, including Nepal and Tibet. His past commercial experience includes executive management at several public data and telecommunication companies around the world.

Leigh created iTrekNepal to share his unique experiences of a lifetime of trekking and mountaineering with like-minded people. His aim is to provide an adventurous holiday with extra comfort for mountain-loving customers.

About Andrew Leonard
Andrew (Andy) Leonard, who oversees the daily operations of iTrekNepal, has had a distinguished business career in the personal computer industry. He has traveled and trekked extensively throughout Asia, and has operated an adventure travel company in the Hawaiian Islands, where he was raised.

About Amy Swartz
Amy Swartz is one of the three co-founders of Gramercy Venture Advisors. She is involved in the management of all aspects of the company, including finances, process management, overall corporate development and customer management.

About Trapp Lewis
Trapp Lewis is an online media specialist with over 10 years operational experience helping to build today’s leading trade media companies. His expertise includes business-to-business strategies and new media marketing. Trapp is a former executive with both Global Sources and Alibaba.com and is now supporting Yahoo!’s global sales efforts in SouthEast Asia.

 

 

Press release, June 6, 2008

Portland, OR June 6, 2008 – Mt Kailash, considered the holiest mountain on earth by a number of faiths and religions, is the newest destination offered by iTrekNepal. This is an exclusive opportunity as only a few permits each year are granted into this secluded region and all trekking in the area comes to a halt by November when the region is cut off by snow.

Trekkers and spiritual seekers have a unique opportunity to join a guided and fully- supported trek through the remote region of Humla in Western Nepal to reach the most sacred mountain in the world – Mt Kailash, considered by Hindus to be the home of Shiva. This exclusive journey is made for travelers in search of a cultural and spiritual understanding amidst the splendor of the Himalayan mountain range. This is a rigorous journey requiring hiking, camping and 4wd overland driving through the remote and wild western regions of Nepal and Tibet. Driving elevations range from 9,000ft (2,745m) to 16,000ft (4,880m) and hiking trekkers will reach a maximum of 18,400ft (5600m).

According to iTrekNepal’s Operations Director Andy Leonard, “We’re offering a handful of intrepid trekkers the opportunity to experience a part of the world that is rarely frequented by Westerners.” He went on to say, “Very few trekkers have passed this way and it’s completely cut off by snow from November to April making this summer and early fall the ideal time to trek in this area which is unaffected by Nepal’s summer monsoon weather.”

More than a just a mountain trek, this is an extraordinary journey during which trekkers will pass through the hidden Humla valley in Nepal’s western most Tibetan frontier and to Tibet’s mythical Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. To begin this pilgrimage travelers will start by taking the flight to Simikot in Nepal’s remote Humla District. From here the trek follows the ancient salt trading and pilgrimage route towards the Nara Langa pass and to the border trade post at Taklakot. Driving overland north past Gurla Mandata mountain to the shores of Lake Manasarovar and Rakshas Tal Lake the trips will reach the settlement of Darchen situated at the foot of Mt. Kailash. Then comes the ‘kora’ (holy-walk) trek on the mountain sharing the trail with pilgrims of many faiths and cultures that head for Kailash during the summer months. After completing this trek those traveling with iTrek will camp by the banks of lake Manasarovar and then drive eastwards by jeep along the mighty Zangpo River and through the vastness of the Tibet Plateau. Here they will enjoy fantastic mountain views of the Himalayas as they journey south towards the border town of Zangmu to re-enter Nepal at the Friendship Bridge.

Both 24 day and 17 day treks are available. These are fully supported treks with all camping equipment, led by experienced local guides. Overland travel in Tibet uses private four-wheel-drive jeeps (whenever possible). iTrek has coordinated its trip dates to coincide with a full moon for particularly auspicious trips.

About: iTrekNepal is a Nepal trekking company equally committed to the enjoyment of its clients and to the future of all Nepalese. All Itreks have been carefully researched to ensure very safe and enjoyable trips. Only the best accommodations, guides and porters are used, and any trek can be customized to a client’s preferences.

For additional information pertaining to this release contact: Andy Leonard (503) 522-1747

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Press release – Portland, OR June 6, 2008

Contact:
Andy Leonard
iTrekNepal
(503) 522-1747
Contact iTrek
www.itreknepal.com

Press release, May 24, 2008

Portland, OR May 24, 2008 – For trekkers wanting to experience Tibetan culture as it has existed for thousands of years iTrekNepal will begin offering trips to the highly restricted area of Mustang this summer. This is an exclusive opportunity as Nepal limits the number of outsiders allowed into the region each year.

The mystical Mustang area, closed to the outside world until 1992, is a little known kingdom within Nepal which maintains the traditional Tibetan culture in. The Dalai Lama has said, “Mustang is one of the few places in the Himalayan region that has been able to retain its traditional Tibetan culture unmolested… authentic Tibetan culture now survives only in exile and a few places like Mustang, which have had long historical and cultural ties with Tibet.”

According to iTrekNepal’s Operations Director Andy Leonard, “We’re offering a handful of trekkers the opportunity to enjoy this trek. “We have experienced,tri-lingual guides who speak, English, Nepalese and Tibetan. Our guides really know this region well and will provide trekkers with a very intimate experience of the unique terrain and culture of Mustang.”

In other parts of Nepal trekking isn’t possible during the summer months which experience heavy monsoon rains. Mustang lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas and is not effected by the monsoon so it provides the perfect opportunity for individuals who want a summer adventure and to experience Tibetan culture.

The route iTrekNepal takes begins with a flight to Jomsom and then follows the course of the Kali Gandaki gorge. Climbing up this steep canyon, trekkers will hike several days to the walled capital city of Lo Manthang, virtually untouched since the 14th century. This is a mystical region that is home to snow leopards, the endangered bharal (blue sheep), and the mythical mehti (abominable snowman).

About: iTrekNepal is a Nepal trekking company equally committed to the enjoyment of its clients and to the future of all Nepalese. All Itreks have been carefully researched to ensure very safe and enjoyable trips. Only the best accommodations, guides and porters are used, and any trek can be customized to a client’s preferences.

For additional information pertaining to this release contact: Andy Leonard (503) 522-1747 

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Press release – Portland, OR May 24, 2008

Contact:
Andy Leonard
iTrekNepal
(503) 522-1747
Contact iTrek
www.itreknepal.com

 

Press release, December 23, 2007

Portland, OR December 23, 2007 – Earlier today it was announced that the Nameste Children’s House (NCH) in Pokhara, Nepal will benefit in 2008 from the donations from the trekking company iTrekNepal.

In announcing that its charitable giving program the company’s founder Leigh Wilson stated, “Giving back is a cornerstone value of our company. From the moment we conceived iTrekNepal we wanted to identify the first charitable beneficiary of our success. We are very pleased that our early success has given us the opportunity to make that decision so soon.” The Namaste Children’s House is a multi-denominational non-profit that is dedicated to the well-being of needy and orphaned children in Nepal. The stated mission of NCH is to honor the divine living in each individual as they strive to create a loving, creative, holistic, and healthy environment for the special children whose lives they have been entrusted with.

The orphanage was designated as the first beneficiary of iTrekNepalbecause of NCH’s vibrant and refreshing approach to rearing children who others might see as community outcasts.

Operations Manager for iTrekNepal Lisa Colloby has visited the orphanage on several occasions and stated, “The term ‘orphanage’, for me, sometimes connotes a depressing, old-fashioned institution, inhabited by sad, neglected children, but it was a very different scene that greeted me on every one of the many visits I made to NCH.”

Ms. Colloby went on to say, “There is an atmosphere of love and care that one senses as soon as one steps through the door, demonstrated by the smiling faces greeting the visitor with a chorus of ‘Namaste’.

iTrekNepal encourages other trekking companies both international and local to find charities in Nepal to support. In addition iTrekNepal assists its own trekking clients to also give to NCH, and gladly arranges visits to the orphanage when its trekking guests come in Nepal

About: iTrekNepal is a Nepal trekking company equally committed to the success and enjoyment of its clients and to the future of all Nepalese. All Itreks have been carefully researched to ensure very safe and enjoyable trips. Only the best accommodations, guides and porters are used, and any trek can be customized to a client’s preferences.

Namaste Children’s House is a non-profit social organization dedicated to providing love, education, healthcare, nutrition, and a solid sense of family, community and cultural identity to the orphaned and needy children of Nepal. To learn more about NCH visit http://www.orphanagenepal.org/

For additional information pertaining to this release contact: Andy Leonard (503) 522-1747

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Press release – Portland, OR December 23, 2007

Contact:
Andy Leonard
iTrekNepal
(503) 522-1747
Contact iTrek
www.itreknepal.com

Press release, November 18, 2007

Portland, OR November 18, 2007 – iTrekNepal, a young trekking company that specializes in small groups and individual trekkers, is providing a solution to a new challenge in Nepal. Nepal’s tourism authority has for some time been discussing the option of requiring Nepal-based guiding services for all treks in the country. This policy will insure a more professional and controlled approach for trekking throughout Nepal. However, many independent trekkers are hesitant to join large guided trek groups, preferring instead to have the freedom and flexibility to trek by themselves.

iTrekNepal’s small group trekking approach provides individuals, couples, and small groups of friends with an alternative. When trekking withiTrekNepal departure dates are flexible and trekking can be tailored to an individual’s pace. This solves the frustration that many trekkers feel when forced to go at the pace of the slowest person in larger groups.

With individual or small group trekking guests can stop longer on the trek for a view, choose to leave later in the morning or arrive earlier in the evening or perhaps linger at a hot spring. While keeping the cost of their treks comparable to those of large group-only trekking companies, iTrekNepalprovides a luxurious experience. Trekkers will stay in the best tea houses, fly rather than taking slow public buses to and from trek trail heads, and are provided with new equipment and benefit from the experienced English-speaking guides. Andrew Leonard, iTrekNepal’s Director of Operations sums up their approach by saying “We want to provide adventurous trekkers with the best of all worlds — the freedom to choose when, where and how they trek with the services and amenities of an experienced local guide service.”

iTrekNepal offers over 16 standard trekking routes like the Annapurna Circuit Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek, as well as the opportunity to customize their trekking routes. They also provide a range of other Nepal adventure experiences like rafting down the rapids of the Marsyangdi River and wildlife safaris in the Royal Chitwan National Park.

About: iTrekNepal accommodations include only teahouses/hotels used that have been personally approved by iTrekNepal with a guarantee of the best rooms reserved for iTrekNepal clients. To learn more about this Nepal trekking company visit their website at http://www.iTrekNepal.com

For additional information pertaining to this release contact: Andy Leonard (503) 522-1747

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Press release – Portland, OR November 18, 2007

Contact:
Andy Leonard
iTrekNepal
(503) 522-1747
Contact iTrek
www.itreknepal.com

Press release, October 7, 2007

Portland, OR October 7, 2007 – From the perspective of iTrekNepal, the fact that the political opposition walked out of government in September demanding Nepal’s monarchy be abolished before elections slated for November is more a cause for celebration than for fear. After a decade long civil war ended last year, the fact that the opposition is able to negotiate rather than take up arms is
a sign that all parties are committed to peace. For travelers who have yearned to visit this majestic country during the past ten years, but who have been afraid to do so peace and stability mean a lot.

For members of the iTrekNepal management who were in Nepal when hostilities broke out a decade ago, the cessation of hostilities has meant that their dream of a company which can provide the best custom trips for clients, while respecting and giving back to the Nepalese has become a reality. iTrekNepal, co-founded by longtime friends Leigh Wilson and Ambir Gurung, has brought about a company that brings together Nepal and Western management in its efforts to provide the best possible experience for trekkers while improving the lives of Nepalese guides and porters.

After a decade of war in which tourism was severely depressed and jobs in the tourism industry were far and few between many Nepalese are thrilled to see more visitors returning to the country. According to Wilson, “While most companies only pay guides and porters union rates per trek when available, we pay yearly salaries, health insurance and union rates whilst actually on treks to ensure the highest quality of service and a shared interest in the customer experience.” Such policies lead to enthusiasm and loyalty byiTrekNepal
employees.

Wilson also states, “We’re different from other Nepal trekking agencies in several ways. For one thing we never require a down payment prior to trekkers arriving in Nepal.” Andy Leonard, iTrekNepal’s Operations Director and Trekking Consultant says, “This means that trekkers can rest assured they won’t get hit with a hefty nonrefundable deposit if something goes wrong at the last minute and the trekker isn’t able to make it.”

Asked what sets iTrekNepal apart from other companies that are once again operating in Nepal Wilson says, “It always surprises me that people whom pay thousands to go on a trek are prepared to put up with little more than a backpacker holiday. Most international companies use local trek companies and are merely outside representatives. The result is large returns for little service, cheap hotels, poor equipment and guides whom have little care or knowledge above providing for backpacker style vacations. Our staff are trained to provide something close to what people expect when they pay US $1,000; a really nice
vacation, good quality hotels, new equipment, the best guides and porters, but we provide it for a fraction of the cost.”

About: iTrekNepal treks have been carefully researched to ensure safe and enjoyable trips. Only the best accommodations, guides and porters are used, and all treks can be customized to the clients preferences. To learn more about this Nepal trekking company visit their website athttp://www.iTrekNepal.com

For information:
http://www.iTrekNepal.com, phone +1-503-522-1747 or email: Contact us



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Press release – Portland, OR October 7, 2007

Contact:
Andy Leonard
iTrekNepal
(503) 522-1747
Contact iTrek
www.itreknepal.com