Deepen Rai was an exceptional Tour Leader who led Explore tours in Nepal for 12 years. He was a leader amongst leaders. Other Nepalese guides and leaders looked to him for advice and inspiration and he regularly received exceptional feedback from clients. Tragically, we lost him in a plane crash in 2012 aged just 37. Deepen was admired by Explore staff and customers alike. He didn't just carry out his duties; he always found ways to ensure that the tour was liked by all including his team, local partners, community and clients. In 2009 he won the coveted Explore Tour Leader of the year award.
In memory of Deepen’s outstanding contribution to tour leading, we launched a new Tour Leader Award in his name – The Deepen Rai Outstanding Achievement Award. With this award, we aim to give recognition to a leader who has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty and/or has made an outstanding contribution to their colleagues or local community. The winning leader’s efforts will be such that they cannot go unnoticed and should be rewarded and celebrated.
How do we choose a winner?
Unlike the Explore Tour Leader of the Year Award, the candidate shortlist for the Deepen Rai Award is decided by the Explore Operations Team based on feedback they’ve received throughout the year from customers and local partners. Once the finalists are selected, our Tour Leader Awards judging panel decide who the winner is. The panel meet at the Explore offices to decide the winner of this and all of our Tour Leader Awards.
The 2014 Winner
The 2014 Deepen Rai Award for Outstanding Achievement has been awarded to Hay Mar Aung from Burma.
The judges said:"Haymar was chosen because she constantly helps her fellow Tour Leaders in Burma. She helps Explore retain those leaders by creating a sense of family. Thanks to Haymar’s hard work and dedication to Explore we are able to build a community of Tour Leaders where Haymar is the first person they go to for advice. She is always there for others. All of the letters we receive about Haymar are long and in depth. Customers go to a lot of effort to speak about her and this recognition is truly well deserved."
Our partners in Burma said: "Apart from her professionalism when it comes to tour leading, I have no hesitation to say that she is a nurturing team member among our tour leaders. As a senior employee, she has proven her loyalty to Explore in various ways, but quietly as is her nature. Within our team of Tour Leaders, I can't think of anyone else who can genuinely project the characteristic of a native Myanmar national to any visitor who comes into contact with her."
Find out who won our 2014 Tour Leader Awards.
The final shortlist of candidates for the 2014 Deepen Rai Outstanding Achievement Award were:
- Diego Torres (Ecuador)
- Mohamed Bennacer (Morocco)
- Eliuth Perez (Peru)
- Hay Mar Aung (Burma)
- Bayram Dinc (Turkey)
- Udaya Sherchand (Nepal)
- Endrit Necaj (Albania)