This September - following two years of extensive restoration and a delayed launch due to COVID 19 - the Kingdom of Bhutan will reopen its historic and sacred Trans Bhutan Trail for the first time in 60 years.
The trail will be officially reopened in a formal ceremony in Bhutan on September 28, 2022 and as its exclusive launch partner G Adventures will be the first group adventure operator to take travellers along the Trans Bhutan Trail when its inaugural, sold-out, departure leaves on October 2, 2022.
Other long-awaited destinations returning to G Adventures’ portfolio of more than 1,400 trips this September are Australia and New Zealand, which is perfect timing for people to book a trip down under to escape the northern hemisphere winter now the two countries’ borders have officially reopened for international travel.
Yves Marceau, vice president of product at G Adventures, says the operator is excited to be heading back to these three countries - which are some of the last to reopen to foreign travellers - and to be bringing tourism dollars back into local communities, specifically in Bhutan.
“We’re honoured to be working with the Bhutan Canada Foundation and the Trans Bhutan Trail to launch this newly restored route in magical Bhutan, and we’re thrilled with how popular the new trips have been, even with the delay in reopening. It’s a country we’ve run tours in for more than a decade and have long admired for its commitment to the happiness of its people and sustainable way of life; both philosophies that align with our values as an organization. G Adventures is the pioneer of community tourism and being able to give travellers an exceptional travel experience and simultaneously provide much-needed economic benefits to local people is our mission as a business," Marceau said.
“Trails have historically connected remote communities and helped distribute much-needed income to local people as travellers move across the landscape. Our new trips cover the highlights of the trail as hikers traverse forests and meadows and travel through rural settlements around the Dzongs. Travellers can expect an average of three to four hours of hiking each day and delicious local meals each night, whether they are camping or staying in homestays, hotels or local guest houses."
Sam Blyth, chair of the Bhutan Canada Foundation, and lead donor for the Trans Bhutan Trail, says G Adventures was an obvious partner to help relaunch the trail given the company’s long history and success running small group tours and giving back to destinations through its commitment to community tourism.
“As well as providing income opportunities for local people - especially youth - in rural communities, the restoration of the trail is a community-based project designed to preserve an ancient cultural icon and provide a sustainable experience for travellers. Economic benefit will flow directly into the local communities as a result of community tourism, whether via homestays, the purchase of supplies locally for multi-day trips or the employment of local guides,” says Blyth.
Two new Active trekking itineraries are available to book with G Adventures in Bhutan into 2023.
There is an 11-day Camp the Trans Bhutan Trail trip which features camping and homestays, and a 12-day Highlights of the Trans Bhutan Trail itinerary with accommodation in homestays, locally-owned guest houses and hotels.
The two tours focus on trekking specially selected parts of the 403-km (250-mile) trail and connecting with local people to learn about Bhutanese life and culture, thus combining active travel and cultural immersion with the benefits of community tourism.
For more information on G Adventures, please visit www.gadventures.com.