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We are excited to welcome Bhutanese tour guides Karma Choden (Bhutan Homestay) and Tshewang Phuntsho in Austria! They successfully completed a basic German language course (A) as part of the De-suung Skilling Programme in Bhutan. The course was taught for the DSP by Dr. Ulrike Cokl from the Bhutan Network. After completion, both students obtained their international German language certificate A2 at the Goethe Institute in Delhi.
Karma and Phuntsho were among the best within their batch and we decided that such talent should not go to waste. We initiated and planned a summer work season for both at the Stöfflhütte (Walleralm), a mountain hut in the Tyrolean Alps in the district of Kufstein. For Bhutanese tour guides it is very important to understand where their guests are coming from and how tourism works in other Alpine regions.
Initially Ulli met Peter, the proprietor of the Stöffl Hütte, when she was looking for a beer brewer in Tirol to support a friend’s brewery plans in Bhutan. She was referred to Peter Bichler by the ASEP Tirol (Austrian Senior Experts). In the spring of 2023, when Peter was in Bhutan they had a lunch meeting in Punakha. Peter came to Bhutan on behalf of his son who, with his team, owns Bierol, a very innovative craft beer brewery in Schwoich, a village nearby Kufstein town. He did not think twice when Ulli asked him about the possibility for her students to work on his Alpine hut. He welcomed the idea of employing two Bhutanese with basic German skills as this could only be a win-win situation for all involved.
On June 16th, Peter & his team from Stöfflhütte warmly welcomed Karma and Phuentso and all of them are very excited about the collaboration. With this initiative the two trained cultural and trekking guides will get exposed to, and learn about the high quality and professionalism of Austrian Alpine tourism. At the same time they will practice their German language skills. After only two days Peter already mentions how happy he is to have such diligent and interested additions to his team during the very busy summer season.
We wish Karma and Phuntsho a great time in Tyrol. You can visit them at Stöfflhütte (Walleralm) any time except Mondays.