Ulrike Cokl

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Founder, Bhutan program & project manager

Ulli holds a Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Anthropology from UCL (University College London, UK), and has been living, working and researching in Bhutan intermittently since 2000. She loves spending time in remote communities there yet also in the capital, Thimphu. Over the years this has deepened her insights into rural livelihoods and community-related issues. Ulli has worked with local communities and government institutions alike, and is very familiar with operating principles and procedures in the country. During her doctoral fieldwork in Bhutan (2012-2015), she looked at the role of everyday traditional hospitality for relationship fostering – known in Dzongka, the language of Bhutan, as thuenlam – within the context of the Bhutanese neypo system (traditional host/guest network). Emerging from her field data she developed the “thuenlam-approach” to sustainable farm/homestay development. Together with Bhutanese friends, Ulli also founded Bhutan Homestay, a Bhutan-based tour operator that aims to benefit rural communities by incorporating farm/homestays as well as a range of specialized tours for tourists. In addition, she also works as a Bhutan destination specialist for several tour agencies in Europe.

E-mail: ulrike@bhutan-network.org