Dr. Rieki Crins is a cultural anthropologist, specializing in Bhutan. Her PhD from the university of Humanistic Studies was awarded in 2008. Rieki has spoken and lectured at universities and institutions such as Oxford University and University of Amsterdam. She co-founded the TBLI Group financial consultation institute, together with her husband Robert Rubinstein in 1998. Rieki developed and guided trips to South Asia; her travels and experience inspired her most recent project, setting up a quality 4-star eco-hotel in Bhutan and a community hospitality college where local communities will learn to be successful professional hoteliers. The hotel will be an example of true impact investment.
To promote Bhutanese culture and lifestyle including its unique worldview of wellbeing, connect Bhutanese citizens with citizens from other parts of the world to exchange knowledge and experience and facilitate mutual learning.
The creation of the Learning Exchange Foundation in 2009 was inspired by the extensive travels and experience of Dr. Reiki Crins. The basis for the foundation was to meld her passion for true sustainability in the tourist sector with preservation of cultural heritage, promotion of zero emission building practices, and job creation. Rieki is now transforming this dream into reality by setting up a quality Ecolodge in central Bhutan and a community hospitality college where local Bhutanese will learn to be successful professional hoteliers. The aim of Learning Exchange Foundation is to raise awareness of Bhutanese culture in the West as well as to learn from and experience their unique holistic lifestyle and worldview. Western cultures can bring expertise to Bhutanese institutions and companies in need of know-how to render their work more professional as well as sustainable. The first project of the foundation is to set up a community hospitality college in Bumthang.
The goal of this project is to protect and maintain Bhutanese heritage in the tourist industry by providing Bhutanese people with a 4-star, 20-room boutique style eco-hotel and a nonprofit hospitality management college. The hotel and school will provide employment opportunities for the local people and prepare young Bhutanese for a significant increase in foreign tourism. The hotel will also contribute to the development of a sustainable hospitality industry in Bhutan by providing an important showcase of design and operation, with a minimal environmental impact and significant social impact. More than 50 jobs will be created in the first two years and some 50 trainees a year will graduate.