2015 is the Visit Bhutan year: PM

The importance of promoting tourism was stressed on during The State of the Tsa-Wa-Sum report presented to the joint sitting of the Parliament on June 18 by the Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.

The PM said, “Tourists are very important. Last year, we had 116,200 tourists visiting Bhutan, around 63,500 came from India and 52,700 that visited Bhutan were dollars paying tourists. Tourism has contributed Nu16.2bn to the economy and generated about Nu 1.1bn as government revenue and it has also created about 18,200 jobs which includes tourist guides, cooks and people working in hotels.”

The government plans on keeping the ‘high value, low impact’ tourism policy. Some of the means being explored to earn revenue through tourism are the off season packages and special schemes in the summer and winter months. A special scheme for Thai tourists during the monsoon season of June, July and August has been launched and is expected to help the tour guides, hotels and the vehicle owners financially.

“The government, tour operators and airlines must work together to remove constraints during the off season to attract tourists so that our resources don’t remain idle for almost half a year,” the PM said.

In addition to implementing plans to attract a larger number of tourists, the government will also build amenities, like toilets and washrooms required for tourists.

According to The State of Tsa-Wa-Sum, “The Royal Government will also promote domestic tourism and encourage our people to go on holidays and pilgrimage within the country. Tax waivers and special packages with hotels will be explored for domestic tourism.”

“To celebrate the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth Gyalpo who started tourism in Bhutan and blessing us with an enlightened tourism policy, the government has decided to make 2015 as Visit Bhutan Year,” added the PM.

The State of the Tsa- Wa- Sum report states that several new products related to tourism will be launched in the country in 2015.

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