GNH & Sustainable Tourism
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Yangphel Adventure Travel & The Road to Sustainable Tourism
The Inspiration

Founded by the Yangphel Company, Yangphel Adventure Travel has become a vital part of the tourism industry in Bhutan. Considered by many to be one of the most progressive and innovative leaders in Bhutan’s tourism sector, Yangphel began as an adventure travel tour operator in 1988 and has built a strong reputation as one of the best at providing authentic, personal and inspiring journeys throughout Bhutan. In 2005, building on these core values, the company opened the first fully Bhutanese-owned 5-star hotel in Paro: Hotel Zhiwa Ling. While its roots remain in the tourism and hospitality industries, our founders are now expanding into other businesses. In all of its endeavours, however, Yangphel has remained true to its original commitment to uphold the kingdom’s traditions and values and apply the uniquely Bhutanese principles of Gross National Happiness (GNH) in all its affairs. While sustainable business practices have been widely implemented around the world during the past 15 years, never before has the concept of GNH been applied in a business context. Aware of the importance of its role as an industry leader, Yangphel continues to demonstrate its courageous and visionary philosophy and place the welfare of personnel, other stakeholders and the Bhutanese people, before profits.

The Journey

Now Yangphel Adventure Travel has embarked on a ground-breaking quest to bring sustainability into its day-to-day operation of the tour company so that we are at par with international standards for ‘green’ tour operators and the aspirations of our guests. What differentiates Yangphel Adventure Travel’s sustainable tourism program from any others in the world, however, is that we aspire to incorporate GNH not just into the way we do business, but the way we treat our staff, and the way we take care of our guests.

The Bhutanese development model of Gross National Happiness has been amply analysed and researched over the past forty years and there are now many exciting initiatives in progress throughout Bhutan to demonstrate GNH as a way of life (more information on GNH may be found here). Yangphel Adventure Travel is aiming not only to make the tour company’s approach to the environment ‘greener’ but to bring the aspirations of a GNH society a little closer to reality by working with, and listening to, the people we deal with and rely on daily. We know it will be a long, slow road, but we are excited to have taken the first steps on what will be a three-year journey that, hopefully step by step, will lead us to our goal. Read More..

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