A Tourism Office Slated To Be Established In Every District In East And Central Bhutan

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Establishing a tourism office in every district will help to promote tourism across the country, said the Lyonpo.

(Source: Behance)

 

By Jigme Wangchen Business Bhutan

The government will establish a tourism office in every Dzongkhag (District) in the eastern and central regions of Bhutan.

The Economic Affairs Minister, Loknath Sharma revealed this at the Parliament session on 14 January.

Establishing a tourism office in every district will help to promote tourism across the country, said the Lyonpo.

“Community-based tourism will be continued and we are also working on making feasible plans and policies to promote and develop the tourism sector.”

Plans to develop tourism in Central and Eastern Bhutan

The Minister was responding to the Member of Parliament, Gyambo Tshering from the Bardo-Trong Constituency in Zhemgang. He had raised questions about plans to develop tourism in central and eastern Bhutan.

 

Photo: Druk Asia

 

MP Gyambo Tshering felt that the tourism sector will be able to provide long-term employment opportunities and help to generate revenue in both rural and urban areas.

In order to promote tourism in the east, the government started waiving off the daily royalty of US$65 a day for all tourists during their stay in any of the six eastern dzongkhags in 2017. 

“The waiving of the daily royalty is promoting tourism in the east and such initiatives will definitely help develop tourism in the region in the long term,” said Lyonpo.

The Minister also added that the construction of restrooms along the highway of Yotongla, Mongar and the bird festivals in Zhemgang are some of initiatives that the government has undertaken to promote tourism.

The endangered White-Bellied Heron can be found in Bhutan.

Photo: Species On The Brink

 

“We also plan to develop tourism by providing different types of trainings and workshops, teaching people how to use tourist-oriented resources carefully,” said the Lyonpo.

Tourism sector development is one of the flagship agendas of Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan (FYP).

“Action plans and policies for the development of tourism are already in the pipeline,” said the Lyonpo.

The Minister also mentioned that the government will work towards promoting tourism in every dzongkhag equally.

Statistical breakdown of tourist arrivals in Bhutan

Meanwhile, tourist arrivals hit 4,352 in September 2018, up from 3,301 in August 2018.

 

Druk Asia conducts tours with Erwin Lian, where tourists can sketch and paint on-site while touring Bhutan. 

Photo: Druk Asia

 

Tourist arrivals in Bhutan averaged 3,794 from 2009 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 11,277 in June 2011 and a record low of 459 in September 2013, according to the visitor arrival statistics maintained by the Tourism Council of Bhutan. 

A total of 37,994 tourists arrived in 2018 in the first nine months (January-September). In 2017, there were 254,704 tourist arrivals including 183,287 regional tourists. The overall growth has increased by 21.5% from 2016.

“We will continue to waive the daily royalty,” said the Lyonpo.

  

This article first appeared in Business Bhutan  and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.

 


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