“On the way to my school one day, I saw a tour-guide tell a group of tourists about our culturally rich and vibrant country. This small, yet significant incident sparked my interest in tourism. When I didn’t perform well in class 12, I decided to attend a cultural tour guide training. In the years that followed, I did additional training such as a trekking guide course, birdwatching course, first aid training, and a nature course. In between these courses I also did my De-Suung training. As tour guides, we need to ensure that our guests are content with the trips and trip logistics. The most important trait of a good guide is being able to handle any situation and giving the guests the best service possible.

None of my relatives were in the tourism industry so I struggled in the market for a few years. People would send me away as I was new and inexperienced. This motivated me to attend every training I’d find to enhance my skills and become a better tour guide. My favourite part about this line of work is meeting diverse groups of people. We get to learn about new cultures and improve our language skills. It is almost like traveling around the world. But I take most pride in the fact that I get to share the culture and history of our wonderful country. Nothing can be more special than that.

The pandemic has definitely affected me financially. With no tourists, I’ve absolutely no income right now. I am depending completely on His Majesty’s kidu, which has been an immense blessing during such times. Although difficult, this sudden crisis has taught me the importance of saving. As a young man with no wife or children to look after, we usually tend to use up all the money during the off-seasons. Now I understand that saving is important, it is crucial that we start now. I am increasingly worried about how long the situation will last. I am currently on desuup duty in Kabesa, Thimphu. I continue to practice, read and learn when I can to stay in touch with the skills I’ve put so much work into gaining.”

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