Bhutan Has Great Potential To Be A Top Eco-Tourism Spot: Albert Teo

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Despite Bhutan being home to a wide array of flora and fauna, it is still not a top ecotourism destination.

A woman from the Brokpa tribe of Merak, Bhutan transports goods using yaks. (Source: A J Heath Photography)

 

By Samten Dolkar BBS

Despite Bhutan being home to a wide array of flora and fauna, including some endangered and endemic species, it is still not a top ecotourism destination.

This, according to the Director General of the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) could possibly be due to the lack of specialised guides in eco-tourism.

What is eco-tourism?

Eco-tourism is tourism directed towards responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment. It should also help to sustain the well-being of the local people.

 

Source: Youtube/Elisabeth Keuten

 

Bhutan is regarded as one of the most exclusive travel destinations in the world. However, to promote ecotourism to the level that other countries have already reached, is still a challenge, said TCB’s Director-General, Dorji Dhradhul.

“We need guides specialised in various facets of eco-tourism such as experts in birds, plants or entomology. As of now, I feel that maybe we don’t have enough guides specialised in these areas yet,” he explained.

Talk on eco-tourism by Mr Albert Teo

Giving a talking on eco-tourism in Thimphu on 18 July, Mr Albert Teo, an eco-tourism ninja who owns Sukau Rainforest Lodge in Malaysia, said that Bhutan has great potential to be a top eco-tourism spot. 

 

Photo: Druk Asia

 

He has won many awards and recognition in eco-tourism including the famous Pacific Asia Travel Association or PATA golden award in 2015 and has been featured in National Geographic’s series on ‘unique lodges of the world’.

What can Bhutan offer as an eco-tourism destination?

We have to ask ourselves - what is the reason for coming to Bhutan? So you have to develop your culture which I think is very interesting.

"The people, the culture and the environment. I haven’t seen the flora and fauna much especially the fauna. I presume you have a lot of endemic plants, insects, birds and animals. The only problem is that you need a lot of skills and guides to bring people to visit these places,” Mr Teo advised.

 

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

 


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