Press Summary from the 3rd Meet the Press session – ‘Taking Tourism to the Top’

Press Summary from the 3rdMeet the Press session held on 1stMarch 2019

‘Taking Tourism to the Top’

The government recognizing the essence of tourism, has been working towards redefining tourism in the country. In order to take tourism to the top, it is crucial for the government and the stakeholders to work together. The stakeholders are not just tour operators, private companies and the Tourism Council but every Bhutanese as Bhutan has her potential in tourism.

The Tourism Council of Bhutan steered the first ever National Tourism Conference in Thimphu from 27th- 28thof March attended by over 250 participants.

The government in its effort to redefine tourism has initiated some reorganization in the following:

  • Tourism as a flagship program in the 12thPlan.

The government has resolved to include tourism as a flagship program in the 12thPlan. In consent to this, the government has directed the Tourism Council of Bhutan to submit a proposal to the government which should depict initiatives to augment and enrich tourism experience in the country.

Bhutan is unique not just culturally but aesthetically. The government has engaged TCB to mechanize tourism not just for cultural visits but for other aspects. The rich biodiversity of Bhutan would appeal to birders and environmental tourist; while the geographical terrain features for scenic hike-ways and sports such as bungee jumping, para-gliding and others.

The government prospects to slaying the myth of seasonal and regional tourism. While this would be a challenge, initiatives and plans must be put in place to diversify our tourism.

  • Chairmanship & members of Tourism Council of Bhutan

Realizing that Tourism is a potential field for Bhutan which needs to be accorded time and balance, Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji will be chairing TCB. This comes to effect as the Foreign Minister is not only is passionate about tourism but also has plans to rope in services from the Missions, Embassies and Consulate offices of Bhutan in promoting Bhutan.

From this year, the TCB has included Sarpang Dzongdag Karma Gelay and Trashiyangtse Dzongda Thuji Tshering as board members for regional representation of ideas, concerns and plans in enhancing tourism.

While these are preliminary steps to diversifying tourism, the government is keen to work towards apportioning the benefits from tourism throughout the country.

  • Tourism Development Board inducted.

The Bhutan Tourism Review 2016 recommended a separate body for tourism which would look into aspects of marketing and other activities. In line to the recommendation, a 13-member Tourism Development board has been instituted. This is in anticipation that TDB would formulize market scope, multi-sectoral involvement and strategize tourism development in the country.

The government is passionate in diversifying tourism by taking tourism to different places and for all seasons in the country while also minimizing peril on our unique culture, tradition and biodiversity. The government cannot guarantee to divide equal tourists in all 20 dzongkhags, but the government assures that the benefits from tourism would be shared in all 20 dzongkhags.

The government invites suggestions and proposals for enhancing tourism in the country and seeks participation from all Bhutanese in this endeavor. Every Bhutanese is an ambassador of our nation, our unique culture and tradition and can contribute in promoting ‘Brand Bhutan’.