Sonam Wangmo is the founder of Yu-Druk. Among the earliest companies in the country to provide travel related services, Yu-Druk was established in the year 1985. In a country dominated by male players, Sonam Wangmo was one of the first Bhutanese women to take up the challenges of life as a business entrepreneur – a dramatic departure from being a housewife. In its formative days, Yu Druk began its journey as an airline-ticketing agent, mostly catering to Bhutanese and international officials travelling abroad.
It was in 1989 that Sonam Wangmo first ventured into tourism related business. The opportunity opened up for her when she was offered a contract by the government managed Bhutan Tourism Department, to offer trekking services as their sub agent. Subsequently, when the Royal Government of Bhutan privatized tourism activities in 1991, Sonam Wangmo shifted focus from airline-ticketing to a business wholly focused on tourism. Renamed and now popularly known as Yu Druk Tours & Treks, she greatly enjoys her business that offers her the opportunity to meet and interact with people from all around the world. A compulsive trekker herself, she has been to most of the trekking routes in the country, including the Snowman Trek that is considered among the toughest treks in the world. She also qualifies as one of the first women to lead trekking groups into the alpine wilderness. Given her intimate knowledge of the trekking routes in the country, she is able to offer a higher level of service to her clients.
Joined Yu-Druk in 1997. He started his career guiding and trekking when only 33 tour companies were allowed to operate the tourism industry. In 1998, Lonely Planet took a bold decision to have a guidebook for Bhutan, despite the huge policy obstacles to get permission for a guidebook, Mr.Stan Armington authored the first book and Rinzin was given the privilege of being the official guide for this project.
In 2002, he opened the only mountain bike & bicycle shop in Bhutan, after having trained at the Barnett Bicycle Institute in Colorado Springs. He was Bhutan’s only certified bicycle mechanic!
Today, he runs his bicycle shop and adventure tourism business in Thimphu. He serves on the Board of the Bhutan Youth Development Fund. The premier organization for the development of youth in Bhutan.
He was also instrumental along with 35 charter members in the formation of the only Rotary Club in Bhutan in 2012 and served two terms as its President from 2013-2015. He served 9 years on the Board of the Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators since its formation in 2000, two times as its V.President and one time as the President. He has been reelected as the chairman of the term 2017-2019.