Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Inspiring the Next Generation - The RT Fringe Meet in Pokhara

09th Feb 2010

The theme was to inspire the next generation and also to network amongst players in the industry, and what a success that was. About 30 people sat in a rather cramped corner of the Moondance Restaurant & Bar (which helped eventually, or we would not have heard each other at all - over the background noise of other customers, music, and a generator).

The 10 students from Nepal Tourism and Hospitality Management College, Pokhara were quickly asked to change their seating and intersperse with the industry people who came in, and that was an immediate hit. A buzz of conversation burst into life and Marcus and Raj were even discussing whether the inspiring words was required at all.

Moderated by Marcus Cotton, organisers of this event and from Tiger Mountain, Nepal, the group eventually heard a few words from:

Andrew Jones, Sanctuary Resorts, Hong Kong, on how his vision led him to start digging deeper into the responsibility of resorts to the community, and the wonderful work that they are doing now.

Lucky Chhetri, 3 Sisters Adventures, Nepal, on how her multiple award winning organisation has gone from strength to strength, from a vision of empowerment of women in the tourism industry.

Jenefer Bobbin, RT Verification consultant, on how the idea came of the verification scheme for tourism enterprises and how it works and where it is now.

Raj Basu, Help Tourism, on how his organisation went from one area of responsibility towards society to another, moving from using tourism for environment conservation to heritage conservation to now Tourism for Peace.

Ian Hall, Wild Asia Awards, on how his love of architecture and nature, led him into working in tourism and responsibility, one of the fields of work where something like this is possible, and how happy he was to see students and get a chance to meet with the future.

Later Raj Gyawali, socialtours, summed the presentations by mentioning how the different inspirational words proved the diversity of the field of responsibility in tourism, and how deep it can go. He also mentioned how his organisation brings all this together in its marketing of responsible tourism products and also how it attempts to dig deeper into the issues of responsibility, taking it to the office and the individuals in the workplace.

He went on to explained a bit about the history of these Fringe events, started in London by Sally (tripbod.com) and Gopi (The Blue Yonder) and how it now takes place in London, Berlin, Delhi, Singapore and since the last two years in Nepal.

There was an attempt made to bring Ron Mader, Planeta.com into the conversation using the internet and Skype, but the technology was drowned in the buzz in the restaurant. Ron did briefly come online to see the event.

The networking continued for a while after this, buzzing with conversation, before winding off.

Attended by:-

The students from Nepal Tourism and Hospitality Management College
Andrew Jones, Sanctuary Resorts, Hong Kong
Sophie, Production Tours and Travels, USA
Lucky Chhetri, 3 Sister Adventure, Nepal
Jenefer Bobbin, socialtours, Nepal
Travis Rabenberg, Trekking with Trav, USA
William Ma, Asian Encounters. Nepal
Craig, Kangaroo Travels, Brazil
Ian Hall, Wild Asia, Malaysia
Raj Basu, Help Tourism, India
Bharat Basnet, Explore Nepal
Subekshya Basnet, Explore Nepal
Fiona Marshall, KE Adventure Travel
Hannah, Explore, UK
Mircea Anitas, France
Jayne Low, Jet Airways, Singapore
Angela Gray, East West, Singapore
Markus, Germany
Sabin Shrestha, Tiger Mountain
Rajendra Shrestha, Tiger Mountain

The event was organised by Marcus Cotton, Tiger Mountain, Nepal and conceptualised by Raj Gyawali, socialtours, Nepal

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