Tibet Roof of World International Travel is a Tibetan owned company, set up by Tashi and Migmar in 2008. They are based in Lhasa and operate tours all over the Tibetan Plateau. Tibet Roof of the World educates all guides and other staff to promote local small business by buying locally and using local Tibetan services like hotels, restaurants and transport.
Cultural heritage protection
Migmar: “Whenever there is a chance to extend our helping hand to protect our historical and cultural heritage, we always say yes without any hesitation. For example in May 2012, a monastery near Tingri was in a very poor condition due to the cultural revolution and recent earth quake, so we use our contacts and helped the monastery to fund raise for the renovation. Now the monastery has been renovated and again gets many visits from the locals and tourists for worship and sightseeing”
Wild flowers and organic food
Migmar: “Khangshong Face trekking is our new destination. This trek is special because of the wild flowers and herbs that grow in this area only and are used by the local people to improve their health. During the trek we can also see many wild animals like antelope, blue sheep and birds.
The main cook on the trek is from Lhasa but we use cooking and trekking staff from the local area. We also buy as much as possible organic food from the local community like potatoes, carrots, yak and sheep meat. Also we hire community yaks to carry the trekking gear and luggage. We always encourage our guides to bring their waste with them and discard in a bigger town or counties where there have waste bins. We provide garbage bags for our guide to collect all their trash and bring it with them.”
Hotel on the roof of the world
Migmar: “We recently opened a small hotel in Saga, on the way to Mount Kailash. Most of the staff of the hotel we hired locally and are getting training in hospitality and English. We also buy meat, eggs, dairy and vegetable oil from the local community and encourage them to use organic farming techniques. Saga is on the way to the holy mountain Kailash so most of our guest are Indian pilgrims and some Western tourists. The hotel is basic but the guests get a great local experience staying in the remote village of Saga.”
Migmar: “In 2016 I was a participant of the Eco Travel exchange program to the USA, and I studied very good examples of eco tourism and national park management during my trip. In the USA I did not find any garbage on the road or in nature during my whole month of traveling. In Tibet we are really having a problem with rubbish everywhere. When I came back from the USA I shared the importance of good waste management in tourism with my guides.
My visit to the USA also made me realize the importance of the guides giving full briefings and have full knowledge of each destination. I gave my guides examples of some of the briefings and we are planning in winter to extend our knowledge of our destinations.
From 2017 I plan to take the best guides traveling in China as a reward for their hard work and to open their eyes for different forms of tourism, different standards of service and to get new ideas. Most guides have not been outside of Tibet. It will hopefully also motivate all guides to give even better service since they can get a trip to China too if they get good reviews.”