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Explore Tibet Staff Annual Meeting has good bye the 2015 and welcome the 2016, we are well prepare to make your 2016 Tibet travel worry free and enjoyable.

Explore Tibet 2015 Annual Meeting
Winter is a slow season of the Tibet tourism industry, but it is a busy season for Tibetan themselves, because traditionally Tibetan make their pilgrimages during the winter months, crowds of local pilgrims in the Bakhor street, long queues at the Jokhang temple, hundreds of pilgrims prostrating right in front of the Jokhang temple, it is a great taste of Tibet that you can never experiences rest of the year.

The Explore Tibet annual meeting was held at the head office in Lhasa among the 25+ attendances, including some of our office staffs, Tibetan tour guides and drivers, the gathering was started with 2015 yearly conclusion addressed by Mr. Sonam Jamphel (founder of the Explore Tibet) which initiated a productive discussion among the attendance on the subject of what we learnt and what we need to improve in the future, everyone actively shared their personal opinions that learnt from their day to day work experiences, then this session of the forum was concluded with different ideas that we need to make progress in the coming year.

<< Driver Migmar Tsering and Dumdul are voting for the best guide>>

<<Guide Tenpa and Norbu la were Voting for the best driver >>
The next session was the most interesting for the attendances as it was the time to receive their annual bonus for their service performances, a table right at in front of the office was piled with Shockchag – which is red envelopes with money in Tibetan, despite the normal service bonus, the top 3 guides and drivers receive an award money and everyone was very excited for who will be the top listing. Explore Tibet office staffs were busy with collecting votes from guides and drivers and counting them to figure out the top candidates, the top candidates were selected with some certain selection systems, the totally points that each candidates receive are based on three main subjects, 1. Points that received from the evaluation form that our clients give to us, 2. Points from inter-voting which means our guide vote for the best driver and driver do the same, 3. Our office staff vote for best driver and guide for their work attitude.

<<Explore Tibet guide Pemtse was voting for the best driver>>

<<During the tea break>>
After a short tea break, finally the vote counting was finished and among the tour guide, the winner went to Gyaltsen with 91.5 marks, runners up went to Namgyal with 88.2 marks and third position taken by Tsering Dhondup (Rooney) with 86 marks. Among the driver the winner went to Bhuchung and Tenzin Lhakpa with 81.9, runners up went to Dumdul with 79 marks and third position taken by Passang and Migmar Tsering.

<<Driver Kalsang (in blue coat) was starring at the red envelope when driver Dumdul receive it>>

<< Guide Pemtse was receiveing the bonus and Khata>>
The meeting was ended around 3pm and it brought all the team back into a readiness for another successful year of 2016. According to the official information the Tibet travel permit policy for 2016 is very stable and Tibet tourism bureau has made lots of improvements on the paper work system to simplify the application process, so if you are planning for your 2016 Tibet tours, then please don’t hesitate to write us and our local Tibetan travel team is already well prepared to assist you a worry-free and enjoyable travel experiences in Tibet.

<< Explore Tibet guide Tselha was holding hte bonus in hand with a big smile>>

Explore Tibet Distributed Recyclable Thermo Bottles to Local Tibetan Tour Guides and Drivers

Explore Tibet distribute Recyclable Bottles to Tibetan tour guides
As being a local Tibetan travel company, we always trying our best to bring a positive impact in our community, in the past years, some of our Tibetan tour guides received ecotourism trainings from Columbia University as well as some other NGOs, in other hand, our company try to develop the awareness of ecotourism and environmental friendly among our staffs.
Recently, Explore Tibet had distributed uniformed thermo bottle to our Tibetan tour guides and drivers, because we believe that our tour guides and drivers are the not only representatives of our company, but they are also traveling most of the time with our clients, so instead of buying bottle water all the time, they can refill the thermo bottle from the restaurants and hotels, therefore it would reduce the plastic bottle waste, moreover, we believe influencing to other Tibet tour companies may work better than just doing oneself, so we encourage our Tibet tour guides and drivers to promote the ideas among other tour guides and drivers from other tour companies.
Tri-color recyclable bottles from Explore Tibet

Explore Tibet Drak Yerpa Cleaning Project Year 2014

As being a local Tibetan tour company, we always trying our best to give something back to our community and build awareness to others through our action, supporting locals and encourage local people is one of the core value of Explore Tibet.
We are very thankful to Chris Jones from Columbia University and other several NGOs who had conducted Ecotourism and Customer service trainings for our Tibetan staffs in the past couple of years, though we are still away from our goal but we always keep trying to improve ourselves and trying best seize any opportunities that we have.
Also our special thanks goes to all our respected clients who support us and provide their invaluable feedbacks which accelerate our improvements.

On Oct 13th, we organized and cleaning project at Drak Yerpa, in the morning some of the staffs from Explore Tibet travel to Drak Yerpa and clean the area for the morning, then we also stand up three wooden boards at three important spots around the sites.
All the cost of the day is facilitated by the company and we are hoping to bring more projects like that in the future. Though a day or two is not enough to clean the area as well as our environment, but we think building awareness is very important and such influences will grow in our society.

<< Our guide Namgyal and drivers cleaning the Channel>>

Through this activities, we try to improve our staff’s awareness on importance of environment, at the same time, we hope the message on the board will remind our fellow travelers to bring their garbage back to cities where there have garbage recycle facilities.

<< Samdup, Rooney (Tse Dhondup), Paul and Students picking the garbage from the bushes >>

Drak Yerpa Hermitage site is a very holy place since from centuries ago, hundreds of great scholars visited there and meditated for years, there have holy caves and temples can be visited. Lots of local Tibetan pilgrims make their spiritual tours to this site.

<< Loading the garbage bags on the truck>>
Goal of our project:
We stand three trilingual metal and wooden boards at three important spots, one at the parking area, one at the visitor’s entrance and another at the picnic spots.
Obviously there are not many inhabitants at the area and most of the garbage is brought by visitors, and especially our fellow Tibetans and Chinese visitors don’t have the habit of clean their own trash, so our goal is to remind them importance of cleaning their trash by placing the boards where they can easily see and read.

<< Explore Tibet Staffs mixing the cement for the boards>>

<< Our team with our students group who participate the cleaning project>>

Messages on the boards:
The messages are in three different languages in an order of Tibetan, Chinese and English.
“Dear Visitors:
This is a holy place where hundreds of great scholars used to meditate. Please respect the great spiritual & historical value of this site and help us keep it clean. Please do not leave garbage here and take your garbage back to Lhasa with you. Thank You!
Take nothing but memories – leave nothing but footprints”.

<< Our guide Namgyal and sales Kalsang are finishing the last board at the highest point>>


Staff Weekend Pilgrimage to Drak Yerpa Hermitage

It was a sunny day and some of our staff agreed to go to Drak Yerpa hermitage for the weekend, it took about 40 minute drive through the Nachen la pass, hike through the hills and visited all those holy caves and temples were a great experiences.

Drak Yerpa is located about 30km northeast of Lhasa, is one of the holiest cave retreats in central Tibet. Among the many ascetics who have sojourned here are Guru Rinpoche and Atisha(Jowo-je), the Bengali Buddhist who spent 12 years proselytizing in Tibet. King Songtsen Gampo also meditated in a cave, after his Tibetan wife established the first of Yerpa’s chapels. The peaceful site offers lovely views and is a great day trip from Lhasa. If you have half day in Lhasa, this is a great option to experience rural Tibet and peaceful monastery

Minimizing the negative impacts of conventional tourism by educating both local communities and visitors are becoming the most extraordinary way to preserve the beautiful destination for future generations. Obviously the tourism industry in Tibet plays a crucial role in the economic development of the region, but the measurable impacts of the tourism put the fragile culture in a thread, in past decades, Tibetan Village Project has carried important responsibility to address these unavoidable problems and facilitates series of Ecotourism workshops and trainings for those who are directly involved in the travel work. It is a great honor for us to attend the Ecotourism training workshops in 2010, 2011 and follow the idea of Responsible Travel.

I am Samdup Gyal, a Tibetan tour guide of Tibet Group Tour, me and Kalsang Namgyal had participated the 7 days Ecotourism training in 2010, in the short period of 7 days, we had a great opportunity to learn new things by discussing with International experts and other participants, we had discussed lots of practical Ecotourism issues that we have ignored during our working times, ie, throwing garbage at the remote campsite during the trekking tours and giving inadequate information of etiquettes and taboos to the clients.

It is our great privilege to participate the Ecotourism training in Lhasa, the training was held from Oct 26thto 30th 2011 among 14 Tibetan guides and cook, within the short period, we learn new concept of Ecotourism in a practical way with teaching of Christ Jones from Columbia University and elaborate explanation of uses and function of First Aids Kit by Tibetan Dr.Gyelpo has guided us to lead a group more meaningful and responsible way.

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