Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nepalese New Year time again! its 2067 Bikram Sambat!



Happy New Year! We thought it’s a great time to greet you and also update you on whats happened last year at socialtours.com

Socialtours.com started in May-June 2002, and we have come seven years now, soon entering into our eight year of existence. It has been a wonderful journey so far, working with a wonderful team and full of very rich experiences.

2066 BS was another memorable year. We had a new person addition to the team. Most of you already know Tassi, who looks after our international correspondence. We also, at the very end of the year, had our oldest member of the team, Nima Lama, leave us, to move on to another realm in responsibility, Climate Change. He is now heading a team working on climate change and indigenous peoples in Nepal. Kudos to his achievements and best wishes for the future, and warm memories of his wonderful work at socialtours since the very beginning.

We also stepped our responsible practices one notch this year, completed the first ever Responsible Tourism Audit, which was externally audited. This report is available online at our website and is a benchmark of our achievements and also helps guide the future of responsible practice in this company. We are proud of this achievement. Thanks to Jenefer Bobbin and Harold Goodwin for believing in us on this, and most of all, to the socialtours team for doing all the hard work.

Last year was also eventful in that we launched the Green Circuit initiative in London, bringing together five different initiatives in the Indian sub-continent under one Green initiative @ www.thegreencircuit.net

We also reached another landmark when we finally got ourselves mentioned in the Responsible Tourism section of Lonely Planet, and got recommended by National Geographic Adventure as one of the operators running parts of the Great Himalayan Trail, ranked among the 25 best new trips in the planet.

Our voluntouring programs are also taking a big leap this year. In the beginning of April, signed a contract with Save the Children, Nepal and Bhutan, which aims at increasing social tourism efforts of voluntourism and Charity Tours for the projects and schools that they support in Nepal. We are all very excited about that!

Last but not least, just before writing this note, I noticed that a lot of hits were coming through tripadvisor.com to our website. Tried tracing it down and found out that a wonderful review was left by one of our travellers, and basically that the travelling responsibly in Nepal section was entirely about us. Thanks. This sort of trust and confidence really helps us work even harder.

“Even though time there was brief ( 2 days) - the Socialtours.com staff provided amazing insight into the city and the country that travel books couldn't explain. Their compassion and sensitivity for the people and environments they interact with can help a traveler realize how rich, wise and generous the Nepali culture and people in general really can be.” – on tripadvisor.com

Well, so much for updates. We hope you have a smashing 2067!

See you in the mountains!


Raj Gyawali
for the socialtours.com team!

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