The Nepal Travel Guide Book experts turn to the experts in Nepal
"Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to ensure our Lonely Planet Nepal Guide Book 2018 author can visit over 370 locations throughout Nepal in under 4 weeks, and provide full logistical support for the authors in depth inspection and research purposes".
"And by the way... it has to be kept secret too"
This was the essence of the challenge presented to Nepal custom tour and trek specialists, Snow Cat Travel.
It's reasonable to assume too that the world's most famous travel guide publishers and one of the world's most recognisable and trusted travel brands want and will insist on the best, when their own brand reputation and integrity is at stake.
As if the challenge as it first appears isn't tough enough, the vast number of locations were also pretty well widespread throughout Nepal. From east to west, central to lowlands and with the added difficulty of getting around a country with a rather poor infrastructure too.
As the Lonely Planet Nepal 2018 Guide Book author, Paul Stiles, says "Nepal is a country where logistics are the primary challenge."
Did Snow Cat Travel take on this 'mission impossible?'
"Of course we did", says Mark Knowles, Brand Manager of Snow Cat Travel, "who is going to say 'no' to the honour and privilege of working with Lonely Planet?"
"After all," Mark adds, "there are thousands of operators in Nepal for Lonely Planet to choose from, but they chose Snow Cat Travel."
Mark also says, "We knew from the outset that this was a very demanding, complex schedule. But, we also have our own 'secret weapon', Abhi Shrestha the Operations Manager for Snow Cat Travel. Abhi's in-depth knowledge and experience in 'all things Nepal' is unrivalled and in this case was invaluable too".
"Not only did Abhi 'make it all happen' in Nepal for Paul from Lonely Planet, he helped out with the almost unfathomable 'transport in Nepal section' for the guide book too."
But, there were other 'complications' too. Not least the matter of secrecy. There may well be over 300 locations to visit, but this was no sightseeing tour of Nepal. Attractions, accommodations, restaurants etc need to be 'checked out' too, not only to ensure that the Lonely Planet Nepal 2018 Guide Book is updated, but also to uphold the integrity of Lonely Planet's updating and inspection process.
Simply put, any inspection process would be compromised if it was announced in advance.
"We're certainly not going to reveal the details as to how Lonely Planet go about things", says Mark, "all we can say is that it is very professional and painstakingly thorough. Paul from Lonely Planet was most definitely not on holiday."
All this happened late last year and needless to say Snow Cat Travel kept it all 'secret' too.
Did it all work out? Well, the Lonely Planet Nepal 2018 Guide Book should be hitting the shelves very soon.
And Paul Stiles from Lonely Planet following his Nepal visit declared,"there is nobody better at getting you around Nepal than Snow Cat Travel...I would not hesitate to use them again."
Mark from Snow Cat Travel concludes, "keeping this all quiet was perhaps the hardest thing, although I think Abhi and Paul would certainly beg to differ!"
Snow Cat Travel has also published its own Nepal Travel Guide online.
This article was originally published on the Snow Cat Travel WordPress blog