From Bhutan to Nepal to support our Earthquake Appeal

With the guide training completed the next process was to attend a seminar hosted by the ‘Tourism Council of Bhutan’ (TCB). Held at their premises in the Capital Thimphu, it was attended by raft operators, local tour/travel agents and operators, and members of the TCB.


Preparing for the seminar

The purpose was to discuss current good practice around the world, including guidelines for operators, regulating the industry and licensing schemes. With both Gerry and myself presenting the main topics for discussion, the aim was to look at the best way for them to form a governing body and regulate the river industry in Bhutan to ensure safety, economic growth and the river environment.


Mid Flow!

By mid afternoon the seminar was closed and we left the process of moving forward with the TCB with very positive outcomes. Unilateral agreement for the need for guidelines, regulation and licensing with fixed minimum charges. This being a major concern to ensure operators to not drop prices to undercut each other and therefore natural this affects standards and quality. Sadly this is something that we have witnessed in many rafting locations around the world.


Gerrys turn to entertain!

So, this final morning was spent discussing our own guided adventure itineraries to this hidden kingdom later in the year and for 2016. My next visit is to guide the Chomolhari trek (snow leopard trek) later in October, a stunning trek crossing Himalayan passes to Chomolhari base camp with a team of staff and mules, remote camps and stunning scenery and views – a trip very few have done (still places available if you want to join me!).


Chomolhari trek

 Tomorrow I touch down in Kathmandu early in the morning and head straight up to the Sindhupalchok district, the area hit hardest by the recent earthquakes and the region where the ‘Nepal Appeal’ is currently supporting projects. I’ll be checking up on these projects by going to each one, and also discussing any future assistance we can provide.


I’ll be checking on the development of funded projects in Nepal.

I go with anticipation to see what comparisons I find since my last visit 2 weeks after the disaster. Whilst the communities hardest hit strive to rebuild themselves, there is currently also a concern across the country as the political parties argue to form a constituent. A process that has gone on for over 8 years since the last civil uprising in 2006 and again now seems to be volatile and unstable with many strikes, roadblocks and demonstrations on the ground – some violent.

 I’m in Nepal until Wednesday to see for myself the current situation and where possible will update as and when I can.

 But for now it’s ‘Tashi Delek’ from Bhutan, until my next blog and ‘Namaste’ from Nepal,



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