Study Finds Homestays And Eco-tourism Helped Preserve Bhutan’s Rich Traditions, Pristine Environment And More

Email

The evaluation found that 98 percent of the homestays used exclusive traditional products like local food products and locally made furniture.

Homestays arranged by DrukAsia. (Source: DrukAsia)

 

By Dechen Tshomo | Kuensel

According to an evaluation on the impact of ecotourism on local Bhutanese communities, the income generated from home stays and campsites has helped improve the economic situations of the families involved.

Focussing on village home-stays and community managed campsites, the evaluation by the Gross National Happiness Commission was carried out in April this year.

Aims of the assessment of the impact of ecotourism on local communities

The goal is to assess the impact of ecotourism on the livelihood of the local communities and its contribution to the conservation of Bhutan’s environment and culture.

 

Source: DrukAsia.eu

 

About 95 percent of the homestay operators said that the income generated from the home stays have helped the community earn alternative sources of income. They have also witnessed an improvement in the preservation of Bhutan’s rich tradition and culture.

Statistical breakdown of homestays by province and income

On an average, the annual earnings from homestays in the country range between Nu 20,000 and Nu 50,000.

The evaluation also states that homestays in Zhemgang can earn as high as Nu 400,000 annually because the families receive more Indian tourists from across the border.

Homestays in Zhemgang and Paro earn the highest income with an annual earning of above Nu 300,000 annually. This is followed by homestays in Wangdue, Thimphu and Lhuentse with annual earnings ranging between Nu 100,000 and Nu 200,000.

 

Source: DrukAsia

 

About 57 percent of the earnings were made from bed nights spent by the visitors in the homestays while 23 percent was earned from both bed nights and guide services.

About nine percent of the income was earned through bed nights and other services such as food, beverages and other facilities used during the homestays.

Income earned from campsites

Similarly, the campsites make an annual gross income of about Nu 273,000 around the Nubji-Korphu Trek and Nu 385,000 to Nu 435,000 along the Jomolhari Trek.

 

Source: DrukAsia

 

The main source of income for the campsites is also from the night holds spent by the visitors and on service fees for local guides, porters and ponies, cultural programmes, stone bath facilities and other hospitality and entertainment services provided by the campsite operators.

About 59 percent of the homestay respondents supported that there is benefit to the households in the nearby areas while 41 percent said that there is no benefit to the surrounding area.

According to the evaluation, this could be because individual households operate most of the homestays and there is not much coordination and teamwork to bring about an overall improvement in the community.

Businesses and communities which reap benefits as a result of homestays

However, it was found that certain business activities like the sale of local vegetables, opening of grocery shops and bars and sale of locally made handicrafts were developed in some of these homestay areas.

In the case of campsites, the respondents said that there was benefit to the nearby areas in terms of business development, employment opportunities, improvement and development of facilities, infrastructure and services, leading to an overall improvement in the living conditions of the rural people.

 

Source: DrukAsia

 

About 89 percent of the respondents said the ecotourism programme had brought about positive effect to the lives of the people in terms of supplementing their living conditions while 64 percent said that there is an improvement in the lives of the people because of the programme.

Respondents said that the earnings from the homestays supported them in sending their children to schools and assist them in buying household items.

Positive outcome of ecotourism

“The impact of ecotourism is present in almost all the areas as can be seen in terms of boosting the economy and business activities of the community, the revival of old tradition and culture such as re-introduction of some of the local festivals, coming up with unique activities and products from each of the communities,” it states.

The evaluation found that 98 percent of the homestays used exclusive traditional products like local food products and locally made furniture and household items to promote and preserve their own tradition and culture.

“This is a significant impact of ecotourism to bring about the preservation of culture when the country and the global world is facing challenges in maintaining their culture due to rapid developments,” it states.

 

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

 


Related Posts

Haa Develops Tourism Action Plan To Promote Its Rich Cultural...

Haa had the 6th highest visitor arrivals among the dzongkhags in the country, according to the Bhutan Tourism Monitor...

Jul 26, 2018 08:23

Dochula Tschechu – Truly Captivating!

What makes the Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival unique is that while the mask dances performed elsewhere in Bhutan are...

Nov 24, 2017 05:19

Thimphu Tschechu 2017 - A Visual Feast

Tschechu, meaning ‘tenth day’ also corresponds to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava). This festival is a...

Oct 06, 2017 18:29

Journey to the Fascinating Royal Highland Festival in Laya

Chimi Wangmo, based in Thimphu, traversed through beautiful landscapes to witness the fascinating Royal Highland...

Dec 07, 2017 09:18

Rare Masked Dances - One Of The Unique Features Of The Kholong...

“Other dances like the Pha-dong chham, Sangling Ngachham, and Terchham among others are not performed in any part of the...

Jul 03, 2018 14:44

About 91 % Of International Visitors Intend To Revisit Bhutan And...

The majority (80.4 %) of the international visitors expressed that the culture and traditional charm attracted them to...

Aug 13, 2018 12:11

Latest

News

Their Majesties, Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering And Other Dignitaries Of Bhutan Offered Prayers For Sri Lanka

His Majesty also sent a message of condolence to the President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, expressing the solidarity of the people...

Apr 24, 2019 20:08

WFP Shifts Focus To Capacity Development In Nutrition And Disaster Preparedness In Bhutan

The decision was made after consultations with Bhutan's government, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Apr 19, 2019 13:02

Features

Addressing Some Challenges As Bhutan Prepares For Rise In Tourist Arrivals

The gross receipt from tourism is expected to increase from Nu 10.6 billion in 2018 to about Nu 39.16 billion in the next five years.

Apr 23, 2019 17:40

How Bhutan Has Changed Me: Julie Chapman

Julie Chapman, who is from the California, speaks about how life was like for her while living in Bhutan.

Apr 18, 2019 10:20

Sports

Bhutan To Hold First 'Sports And Culture Festival' For Runners And Cyclists

There are two tiers to the event, comprising of a full-race distance of 50km and a half-race of 25km.

Mar 06, 2019 17:14

Bhutan’s HRH Princess Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck Attended The General Assembly of the Asian Paralympic Committee In Dubai

The General Assembly is the highest decision making body of the Asian Paralympic Movement.

Feb 08, 2019 18:15

Business

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Kinley Dema Of BuBu Bakery, Lobesa

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Apr 20, 2019 19:18

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Sonam Choden of Rolling Pin Bakery in Thimphu

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Apr 11, 2019 11:08

Travel

Can Bhutan Take Its Happiness Brand To The Next Level?

Two key challenges: galvanising citizens as brand ambassadors and applying brand recognition to growth sectors.

Apr 21, 2019 10:40

The Magical Waters Of Gasa Tsachu – A Popular Hot Spring In Bhutan

While most people visit the hot spring in the hope that it could cure them of various ailments, it has become an annual visit for many to...

Mar 25, 2019 14:38

Lifestyle

Food Review: Cloud9 Cafe & Bar

Cloud9 has always been known in Thimphu for dishing out handcrafted gourmet burgers.

Mar 09, 2019 09:44

Tshering Zangmo Represents Bhutan At The 5th Young Chef Olympiad In India

Tshering Zangmo has successfully made it to round two of the Olympiad.

Feb 04, 2019 16:35

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!