Bhutan Set To Welcome More Tourists From Kuwait, Following Visit by Delegation
Yousef M.A.A Hassan expressed his wish that he would like Bhutan’s tourism sector to receive a share of Kuwaiti visitors.
By Chimi Dema | Kuensel
Bhutan received its very first Kuwaiti tourism delegation on November 17, to explore opportunities of collaboration in the sectors of tourism, media and information.
Yousef M.A.A Hassan, Kuwait’s Under Secretary with the Ministry of Information, and the Ministry’s Director of Media for Asia, Australia and Africa, Mazen A.Z.M Alansari were part of the delegation.
Yousef M.A.A Hassan expressed his wish that he would like Bhutan’s tourism sector to receive a share of Kuwaiti visitors. Therefore, a discussion concerning the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to promote tourism and to ease visa restrictions was held.
“Going by the international tourism organisation’s statistics, the expenditure on tourism alone in the first half of this year was USD 9.3 billion,” he said.
“So it is quite large (in per capita) given that Kuwait has only about 1.3 million people and therefore, we would like Bhutan to receive at least some portions of this expense.”
To begin the collaboration, the Embassy of Kuwait in Bhutan, with support from the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) organised an event in Thimphu on November 20.
As the first Arab country to hold such an event in support of tourism, Yousef M.A.A Hassan said that he was happy to receive acceptance from Bhutan’s party. He ensured that he would ‘move forward’ the plans after returning to Kuwait.
Potential to attract more visitors from Kuwait to Bhutan
Since 2012, Bhutan has received 84 Kuwaiti tourists so far, though none visited in 2013. However, this year alone, about 22 tourists visited the country.
TCB’s Director General, Dorji Dhradrul said that while the number looks insignificant now, there has been a substantial increase of Kuwaitis visiting Bhutan over the years.
“We are hopeful for more turnovers following such cooperation between the two nations.”
He also highlighted the importance of ‘high-value-low-volume’ tourism policy that the country has adopted since the 1960s to guide specific regulations for visitors.
Source: Druk Asia
“By this policy, it means offering travellers high value and exclusive experiences through bringing in numbers according to the carrying capacity of our nature, resources, infrastructure and services,” he explained.
Bhutan steps up its effort to promote country as a prime tourist destination
According to Dorji Dhradrul, the TCB secretariat is also planning to work with global media outlets like CNN to promote Bhutan as a prime tourist destination.
While within the country, TCB is working on improving and strengthening services and infrastructures such as road site amenities and improving the quality of guides, among others.
Loknath Sharma, Minister of Economic Affairs commended the initiative as a support that would help Bhutan achieve its ambitious vision of taking ‘tourism to the top’.
“We would be happy to receive more Kuwaiti tourists in the future and will also reciprocate by sending Bhutanese to Kuwait as the two countries have different geography, culture and traditions,” the Lyonpo added.
As part of the event during the delegation’s visit, a few ancient Islamic arts were on display. Guests and visitors were also treated to some Kuwaiti coffee.
Just recently, Lonely Planet ranked Bhutan as the best country to visit in 2020 in its travel guide book - Best in Travel 2020.
This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.