Congrats to SASANE Sisterhood: »TO DO Award Human Rights in Tourism« goes to Nepal

NGO in Kathmandu trains local women as tour guides | Economic independence and empowerment of local communities as objectives | Women who completed the training develop sustainable tourism packages

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Seefeld, 24/01/2023 – The non-governmental organisation SASANE Sisterhood from Nepal is this year’s winner of the »TO DO Award Human Rights in Tourism«. The NGO based in the capital Kathmandu has convinced with their successful concept of empowerment of local women from underprivileged groups who were subject to human trafficking, domestic gender-specific violence, or child marriage.

The Institute for Tourism and Development (Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung) has awarded this prize annually since 2017. The award honours initiatives, projects, and individuals showing extraordinary commitment to the protection and respect of human rights principles along the entire touristic value chain.

The Nepali women are from the country’s rural mountain communities. They are usually disproportionately affected by experiences of violence, poverty, and marginalisation. SASANE Sisterhood trains these women as tour guides who will then offer different trekking and hiking tours to tourists, as well as cooking classes and insights into Nepali culture. The programmes are consistently designed in such a way that they will meet high ecological standards for sustainable travel.

Economy, Ecology, Society, and Culture in Harmony

In their training by SASANE Sisterhood , the future tour guides learn how to reconcile the needs of the marginalised local population with the travellers’ requirements. In order to achieve this, the women regularly conduct interviews with representatives of the rural communities and integrate the insights they gained into the tourism programmes. The women’s training and subsequent employment on the tours is instrumental in their social, economic, and cultural emancipation from deprivations they were not responsible for. At the same time, it strengthens social cohesion in the rural communities as the people directly benefit from the success of their economic activities.

Claudia Mitteneder, Executive Director of the Institute for Tourism and Development: “Protecting and safeguarding human rights in tourism is necessary and possible – as the NGO SASANE Sisterhood has proven in an impressive manner. SASANE Sisterhood offers a viable perspective for the future to women who have had to live in poverty, who have experienced violence, and who are socially isolated. The NGO enables women to lead self-determined lives and to meet their own needs and the needs of their village communities. In this way, they regain their dignity as fully-fledged members of Nepali society. SASANE Sisterhood is an absolutely worthy winner of the »TO DO Awards Human Rights in Tourism«“!

The “TO DO Award Human Rights in Tourism“ is awarded annually by the Institute for Tourism and Development in cooperation with the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism, the Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism (SST) and the tour operator Studiosus. It is not possible to actively apply for this award which comes with a prize money of CHF 5,000. Potential award winners are identified by an expert jury which then assesses their efforts.

The award ceremony will take place on 7th March 2023 at 2:00 pm on the Congress stage in Hall 3.1 of ITB Berlin.

The information booth of Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung at ITB 2023 will be located in hall 4.1b, stand 201.


Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung (Institute for Tourism and Development) focuses on development related information and education in tourism. In this context it brings out publications, organises international contests, offers training and seminars for people employed in the tourism sector, carries out tourism research and consultancy, and is involved in dialogue on issues related to tourism development.

Contact for the press:
Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e. V.
Claudia Mitteneder, Executive Director
Phone: +49 8152 99901-0 |

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