Tibet Highland Tours is one of the older travel agencies in Lhasa and was founded by Dechen.
Dechen: “Tibet Highland Tours is an eco-tourism company since our staff are all born and bred in Tibet and we strive on our tours to preserve the natural beauty and culture of Tibet by requesting our drivers and guides to abide by the eco-tourism principles. For example, our company’s drivers are strictly forbidden from driving on the grasslands and from throwing thrash out the vehicle windows. Our guides are trained to collect the garbage of travelers when on excursions and not leave behind any trace of their visits. Tibet Highland Tours’ staff are trained to patronize Tibetan-owned and operated restaurants, guest houses, and souvenir shops.
Supporting new tourism businesses
Dechen: “Tibet Highland tours gives back to the community and we are not so concerned with making money as all of the staff of Tibet Highland Tours are getting a good monthly salary plus incentives every year. Several of our office staff are from remote, poor villages at the base of the Himalayas. A portion from each tour goes towards projects that we carry out in these communities.
Tibet Highland Tours has a positive work environment for the staff. We give free training to new guides, and right now there are more than 5 guides who gained experience under our company and now have their own successful travel company, Moreover we have a number of driver who came from remote areas of Tibet and with our help are now successfully doing their own business.
Tibet highland tours also supports the traditional Tibetan restaurant Tibetan Family Kitchen, set up by a guide who lost his guiding license due to a change in policies. Now they are one of the best restaurants and all foreigners like to have meals there and join their cooking classes.
Giving a helping hand
Tenzin: “Our owner Dechen is right now studying in and supporting a Tibetan language school. All the women studying in this school are women who didn’t get the opportunity to study at a young age because of the family obligations. In 2015, we have supported 30 families in a small village in Nepal, after their houses were destroyed in the earthquake, by purchasing them tin roofs. Dechen has also for many years sponsored students from the countryside to come to Lhasa to attend schools where they can learn English to become tour guides. She also pays for Tibetan students to attend university in mainland China, such as Shanghai Jiaotong University, where the students otherwise would not be able to afford the tuition.
Dechen: “This year our company is developing new trekking programs with a trekking guide who has more than 28 years of experience in Tibet trekking. The purpose of cooperation is to give opportunity to the trekking guides and people in remote areas to make some income by working as a Yak man, horse man, cook etc. In the future we are planning to help some of the guides who don’t have guide license anymore to start hostels in remoter area that can be used during trekking.”
Tenzin: “Dolma-la Home is a great hotel located in the Ramoche Temple area of Lhasa. It is owned by a local Tibetan woman named Dolma, who is one of the most amazing Tibetan people we have met. Over 50% of the staff of Dolma-la Home are either physically or mentally disabled. Dolma’s goal is to give these special Tibetan people a good paying job in an excellent work environment while looking after their well-being. Dolma is extremely passionate about making a positive difference in her hometown of Lhasa.
In addition to owning a great hotel, Dolma also has a small handicraft factory, a nice massage center, a tea house and an excellent restaurant on the hotel premises. Dolma has dedicated her life to providing good jobs to the Lhasa disabled community, who are often forgotten or taken advantage of. Tibet Highland Tours is very proud to partner with Dolma-la Home in offering them business training, staff training and marketing training, all for free. If you are looking for a great hotel in Lhasa that is doing even greater things in the community, please consider staying at least one night at Dolma-la Home, a nice 3 Star rated hotel. By staying here, you will be supporting an excellent cause in Lhasa.”