Responsible tourism should be spread out anytime we have a chance to talk about it. After all, what’s the purpose of visiting several places without integrating with the local community?
That’s the reason I have reached Going Nepal’s director and founder of DOCS Foundation Nepal, Liladhar Bhandari, to talk about how tourism and charity can walk side by side. If you are planning your trip to Nepal, don’t forget to get involved with the community and who knows, pay a visit to Liladhar’s orphanage.
Midlands Traveller: Tell me a bit about your background in business?
Liladhar Bhandari: Since I’m a helpless and orphan child, I was supported by Save the Children UK, after finishing my high school (class 10) with the support of Save the Children UK in 1988, I headed to Kathmandu for higher education.
I was searching for a job for bed and bread, after two years in 1990, I found a small job in a travel agency as a night duty staff, in the day I used to go to college/university. I was very much determined and hard-working since childhood.
In the meantime, a brotherly respected gentleman of the neighbourhood took me to Germany in 1993, I spent there 3 years, and during my stay in Germany took some tourism courses.
In 1996, I returned to Nepal and continued in tourism again, in 2001 I established a travel agency in partnership with two other friends, but it did not go well. Then after in 2006, I founded this company as a B2B/DMC.
MT: How did you come up with the idea of a business like yours?
LB: After having worked for different travel companies for years it gave me enough idea to start my own travel company. My dedication and experience have been helpful so far, in average 13 million USD go out of the country every year, but neither those international OTAs are registered, nor they are paying tax in Nepal.
Now I have developed a booking channel named www.goingnepal.com and I’m trying to find prevention of going the huge revenue out of the country. Don’t be confused our regular B2B and DMC service is always available and will be continued this online site is just for the FITs.
MT: Tell me about Going Nepal’s mission and what products and services do you offer?
LB: Going Nepal is a complete B2B and DMC for Nepal, our team has been serving for nearly three decades in the tourism industry of Nepal, we know the desire as well as requirements of global travellers, and hold the trust of high-end GITs & FITs.
We are pleased to say that we are a combination of trusted hospitality partner, tourism entrepreneurship and social responsibilities in the community. We have been working in collaboration with many world classes companies.
We are delivering the utmost personalised services to our clients from the beginning, we want to make our company a one-stop solution for all kinds of travellers to Nepal.
We are specialised in senior citizen tours, deluxe tours, student, small group tours, private tours, MICE, corporate group tours/incentive tours Family tours, trekking & day hiking, and Mountain Climbing, beside that we operate add on packages to Lhasa Tibet tour, Mt. Kailash Mansarovar yatra and Bhutan Tour as well.
MT: What is unique about Going Nepal? What services do you provide?
LB: Going Nepal is a unique combination of tourism and charity every client has seen it with his/her/their own open eyes, most of the companies say we have Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund.
But we are the one spot solution for all kinds of travellers to Nepal, travelling through Going Nepal means contributing something to the needy children of Nepal who has no hope of life.
MT: What are the challenges of a business like yours?
LB: Absences of government support, insufficient air connectivity with tourist source countries, delay in infrastructure development and renovation, political instability in the country natural digester & unforeseen calamities, semi-skilled and unprofessional newcomers, unhealthy competition, price cut, unreliable service providers.
MT: How is your business helping communities in Nepal?
LB: Apart from the regular business Going Nepal is raising regular funds to feed and educate and shelter destitute and orphan children of Nepal through Destitute and Orphan Children Safeguarding Foundation Nepal (DOCS Foundation Nepal).
There are 45 orphan children are sheltering at present and having high-level education and a homely and family environment. Operating vocational training to the needy ones in a different parts of Nepal.
MT: Talk about the DOCS foundations Nepal
LB: Since I was helped by Save the Children UK, I wanted to help others, therefore, DOCS Foundation was funded in 2002AD aiming to help helpless children of Nepal.
DOCS have been rescued and sheltered hundreds of children who have graduated and held responsible job positions in various corporate institutions, DOCS is strictly based on the protection of child rights.
All the children feel comfortable and safe in the hands of DOCS Foundation Nepal. Currently, DOCS Foundation shelters 40 residential children and 5 Non-residential children who are benefited from the purpose of studying with the support of the DOCS Foundation Nepal.
Among 40 residential, 5 are college-going children and the remaining others attend secondary and higher education.
The children are interested in various kinds of activities like judo, football, table tennis, chess, badminton as well as various social activities.
MT: How tourism and charity can work together for the benefit of the communities?
LB: Actually, it is a very good combination of tourism and charity, most of the travellers are kind and benevolent. They love to support others, when those travellers/trekkers come to us as a tourist, they prefer to join in our mission.
MT: What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining a project like yours?
LB: Make a Nepal visit plan with Going Nepal, you will be connected with Charity in Nepal, we make your charity plan come true.
We want to rescue more children form the street or support those children at risk, due to the limited financial resources we have stopped to enrol new children in the centre. Join with us and give new live to the needy children of Nepal. Visit: www.docsfnepal.org
MT: What can tourists expect when visiting Nepal?
LB: Tourists always love Nepal and the welcoming attitude of Nepali people, they expect to meet a kind person/company who is not only thinking about making money but also has been associated with social, and charity works.
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