One of the main responsibilities of the Bokar as a Bhutan tour operator is to ensure that the travel agency in the country grows in a sustainable manner that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
Our overall objective is not only to maximize the earnings, it is our top priority of minimizing adverse cultural and environmental impacts of tourism industry.
We as a part of Bhutan tourism and hospitality industry, realise that our environment and culture are the fundamental resources on which it thrives and grows. It must recognize its responsibility for conservation and sustainable natural resource management by committing and working within principles and guidelines of Gross National Happiness to achieve sustainable tourism development in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
The sustainable development of our industry requires partnership/counterpart and cooperation within the industry, and between the industry, government, tourists, and local people. Local input and involvement are also very important for the long-term and sustainability of our industry. If local residents and communities are part of travel agency and receive benefits from tourism while doing trekking and hiking, then the goals of local communities and the government can be met.
Bokar is a monastery in the remote village of Yalang in the eastern border district of Trashiyangtse. It is the place where my parents and I grew up. The monastery sits on a hilltop and was in the care of my ancestors for many generations. The Yalang village community now looks after the ancient monastery.
In the 12th century, when Tibetan saint Khedrup Kuenga Drakpa, a descendent of Terton Pema Lingpa (Treasure Discover), visited the village of Yalang two white vultures appeared and circled the hill top where the monastery is now located.
Interpreting this as a good omen, the hilltop was named Goe Kar (White Vulture), where a monastery was eventually built. Goe Kar is today pronounced as Bokar by the people of Yalang village in keeping with the nuances of the local dialect.