In 2008 founder Peter Hofman created Ryce Travel. Peter gathered a group of like-minded people to form the foundation’s board. Including Jorrian Hop, Raimon Loman and his father, Wim Hofman. Following soon after by integrating Gear4Guides into the organisation, founded by Olaf Sisters to support local guides with donated equipment.
Initially, the foundation endorsed local ski entrepreneurs in Central Asia. As Peter was working for large ski tour operators in Europe, he gathered second-hand ski equipment donations to continue supporting their endeavours through his connections. Encouragingly, the foundation supports local businesses to develop (winter) tourism. Thus, the snow conditions are excellent; however, facilities leave much to be desired. In a short time, Ryce Travel has already helped set up some ski rental stores, horse rental businesses, language institutes and travel agencies, including investing in avalanche education safety given to locals.
On a trip to Kyrgyzstan in 2012, Peter and his companion were taken aback by the tremendous hospitality in the region. Despite limited resources, the Kyrgyz people were always there for them. They shared everything they had to welcome the newcomers. After a few months of travelling, the duo deeply wanted to give something back to these people. The will is there; however, opportunities are limited. After much planning, Ryce Travel tours commenced in 2016, with the first tour running successfully.
Ryce Travel has been organising winter sports trips to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan since 2015. Kosovo, Northern Macedonia and Georgia later joined these, and from the 2019/2020 season, our trips to Turkey and Lebanon went underway. Ryce Travel started adding ski tours to bring tourism to the next level. The first tour was in Kyrgyzstan, a ski adventure including two days of resort skiing, two days of cat skiing and 1-day horseback riding with local guides. Following the success, adventure tours gradually extended to include the likes of Kazakstan, Georgia and Serbia, to name a few.
A goal for the future is to create three travel hubs at our main destinations. Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Kosovo. From these hubs, we plan to assist local projects and continue to organise tours while growing as a foundation. The main goal is to bring locals and tourists together to exchange knowledge, experience and connections. We plan to follow steps to create co-working and co-living spaces at these destinations to encourage extended tourism in these locations.
As a foundation, we set ourselves goals from the beginning:
- Promoting sustainable tourism in developing countries in the broadest sense.
- The performance of all further actions related to the above in the broad sense or may be conducive to it.
- The foundation seeks to achieve its goal by supporting local entrepreneurs and offering trips to these destinations.
How can you help? We encourage any form of help. Mainly looking for used ski poles, snowboard bindings and freeride equipment, and constantly looking for outdoor and camping equipment. Of course, you can also book a trip with us. You can contact us if you would like to contribute as a volunteer.
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