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Tour Leader Awards 2011, Explore UK

September 29, 2011

Explore UK, Tour Leader Awards 2011 – Tour Leader Awards 2011 Runners Up

The results have been ann ounced for the 2011 Explore Tour Leader Awards, with Nepalese leader Sudarshan KC being voted the overall winner. The runners up were Jorge Mario Rodriguez, Tran Van Hoan and Louise Van Zwanenberg, with Wael Wanas receiving the prestigious Shirley Meacock Spirit of Explore Award.

Tour Guide Awards 2011
Tour Leader of the Year 2011: Sudarshan KC

tlasudarshanSudarshan KC was chosen by a panel of judges after he was shortlisted following nominations received by Explore customers. When choosing him as their winner the judges praised the quality of the customer feedback that he received, the rare ability he has to create a real sense of family in his groups, as well as his ability to make tough decisions.

Sudarshan will receive a £1,000 prize, half of which he will donate to charity. He has chosen a school just outside Kathmandu to benefit from the donation. Sudarshan Says;

It is very hard to choose the place to help, but after going through couple of places, I think i will give the money to one of the schools  just outside Kathmandu .It is called Image Academy in Manamaiju Village Development Commitee. I wanted to help the poor children of this school by providing stationary and may be we will change the black board of some of the classes.

Explore received a staggering 848 nominations for 250 different tour leaders for the Tour Leader of the Year Award. Once both sets of nominations had been shortlisted, it was up to a panel of judges to choose the two winners. The judging panel met on 12th July and was made up of Ashley Toft, Managing Director and Carolina Gryngarten, Head of Operations at Explore; Amar Grover, travel journalist; Polly Davies, travel agent from Marco Polo; Sylvia Curry, loyal Explore customer, and Pam Meacock, Shirley Meacock’s daughter and loyal Explore customer.

The standard was incredibly high, and members of the judging panel commented how hard it was to decide the winner and three runners up, who were Jorge Mario Rodriguez, Tran Van Hoan and Louise Van Zwanenberg. Each receive a prize of £500, half of which will go to a charity of their choice.

Jorge Mario Rodriguez: Guatemala

Guide Award 2011, EXplore Uk
Jorge Mario Rodriguez

What impressed the panel was the consistently amazing feedback Jorge gets from customers, with many stating that he is the best leader they’ve ever had. Jorge has taken to the role of tour leader fantastically well and the Explore Operations Managers have been impressed with his understanding of the Explore ethos and the way he spent time really getting to understand all the details of the role. Jorge tells us about his charity:

In regards to the organization which I would like to benefit, it is a very small institution called AMBI.  Amor y bienestar, by its acronym in Spanish, “love and wellbeing”. It is a small nursery home where parents can leave their children as they go to work. For many people of a low socio-economical level, especially in the poorest areas of the city, taking care of their children can be a problem when they need to go to work.  There are cases of single mothers that just have to leave their kids inside their homes (that most of the times are just a room) with the door locked meanwhile they go to work.  Of course they can´t afford not to go to work and what concerns the parents the most is that if the kids are left alone and able to go out into the streets they could become prey for gangs who will recruit them and insert them into a life of crime.  And because of this, the best choice is to leave them children behind locked doors with all the adyacent dangers that this represents for the kids in the event of an accident or any other kind of calamity. This is why I believe this small nursery institutions are of crucial help for the unprivileged. In the particular case of choosing AMBI as a beneficiary, the fact is that I do personally know some of the people who work there.

Tran Van Hoan. Vietnam Tour Leader Awards 2011

Tran Van Hoan: Vietnam

The judging panel noted the fact that Tran Van Hoan goes to such great lengths to help customers when things don’t go to plan or when they lose personal possessions. He also come across as a wonderful ambassador, not only for Vietnam, but also for Explore. The panel was also impressed with the fact that he has led tours in Cambodia, and seems to have the respect of the local people there, and gets great feedback from customers, even though it is not his home country. Tran tells us about his chosen charity:

I chose the Go Vap Center for Nursing Children Support. I choose this organization because they have a clear objective and are willing to receive and support children without any conditions. They are not really international or national (I mean international which is receiving many supports from other International Organizations around the world). However, they have many policies and methods of training but their budget is very limited, that’s why I support them.

Source. Explore UK

Tran Van Hoan ( Second from the left), Explore UK Tour Leader Awards 2011 and Vietnam Tour Leaders

Tran Van Hoan ( First one from the right), Explore UK Tour Leader Awards 2011 and Vietnam Tour Leaders

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