Responsible Tourism Development
Many people question whether they should travel to Tibet. Griffon Expeditions has the philosophy that positive change will only occur if Tibetans are empowered to make a positive impact in their own community. Much of this empowerment comes from visitors sharing their skills, views and experiences from the rest of the world.
We demonstrate our commitment to responsible tourism development in a number of ways:
- We are committed to staff training and education. This involves training our staff in subjects as diverse as client service, wilderness first aid, cooking, camp hygiene, language skills, environmental awareness and minimal impact back country travel.
- We are creating working relationships with developmental and educational institutions to train Tibetans and Bhutanese in skills that can be used in their local communities
- Our company is structured so as to maximize the return to the local community. Of course we do contract international guides and staff to ensure a high level of safety and service but also to provide role models for our young local staff to learn from.
We invite contributions and feedback on ways we can further improve our approach to sustainable development while ensuring the future protection of the Himalayan environment and culture. If you have done a trip with us please fill in one of our online feedback forms or simply email us your ideas.
In 2005, Chris Jones, founder of Griffon Expeditions began working with University of Virginia on a collaborative project to improve the quality of tourism training at Tibet University. Tourism training in Tibet is in its infancy. Griffon Expeditions provides a wealth of practical experience that complements an academic approach to tourism education. Griffon staff along with international tourism experts are working directly to develop and improve the curriculum delivered at Tibet University.
In 2008 a pilot course in Responsible Tourism was delivered to Tibet University teachers in the USA. Two of these teachers then went on to study tourism at Thompson Rivers University in BC Canada. These two teachers bring back to Tibet a wealth of new ideas and experiences.