Locals Know Best
Our Stance On People
We believe that, as a local Bhutanese tour operator, NAT should operate in partnership with local people, ultimately providing employment and economic benefits for the community as well as helping to place a value on the cultural and natural heritage of Bhutan.
We have a dedicated team of well trained and content local staff. Four guides, three drivers, one office manager, one office assistant, a fleet of free lance knowledgeable local guides and a cleaner lady all of whom can perform their job at the office and in the field professionally and safely. We offer good salaries to our staff plus an exceptional new year bonus. All are staff have “personal accident insurance” against possible accidents at the office and in the field. We also have a Group Insurance scheme in place for staff medical/health emergencies. We have a retirement benefit scheme in the form of a Provident Fund account with the Royal Insurance corporation of Bhutan. We ensure that our staff our appropriately equipped for harsh weather conditions. We also make available a yearly clothing allowance because we require that everyone working on our tours is properly outfitted. Our guides and staff are the backbone of the organization and we could never run successful trips without their support.
We ensure that our local people benefit from NAT holidays. We pay for the services of local guides, Daily rural farm life experience opportunities, visits to typical Bhutanese heritage homes, hot stone bath services, home cooked meal arrangements, home cooked hot lunch catering arrangements, cleansing ceremony services, Bhutanese astrological readings, traditional healer visits, weaving demonstrations, rural school visit experiences, and for photographs
Our trekking Crew form essential travel companions when trekking in remote locations or mountain environments. They are really quite amazing people – capable of climbing huge mountains often twice as fast as the rest of us whilst carrying all the equipment we need. Their services are incredibly valuable to the Bhutanese tourism industry and we treat them as such.
We require all of our trekking contractors to pay the crew fairly, to ensure they are not carrying more than the maximum permitted weight, and that they have adequate food, shelter and clothing.
On a 2014 trek in the far eastern ethnic villages of Merak and Sakteng we were provided with trek and camp services by a localLy hired camp crew. We stuck together, ate together, learnt each other’s names, got to speak a few words of the “brokpa” dialect that helped increase our cultural understanding. Together 6 days, safe and happy we got to know each other a lot better. We learned that our English speaking lunch was actually a higher secondary school drop out! He had been interested
in civil engineering studies, but his English marks didn’t help him qualify for the only free Government Bhutanese engineering college, while his technical score in the science subjects and maths were above 80%.
It so happened, or was it coincidence? Or as we Bhutanese believe a connection from a previous lifetime or perhaps trillions of lifetimes we never know right? It’s said that we meet of a reason, and a reason it truly was I guess, a guest participant on the Trek shared similar study experiences from that of our lunch boy who kindly happily sponsored 50% of our “lunch boy’s” college education in India with a matching contribution met by NAT. Our hero in my story , is an inspired, diligent civil engineer running his construction business from Gelephu today!