The recent resolution moved by the Opposition party to open all border entry points in the south for tourism has led to questions on how it can exacerbate mass regional tourism and also if there could be any security issues.
The Opposition Leader clarified saying that the Opposition party is all for high value and low impact tourism which is also why the Opposition party stood opposed to the BBIN agreement before.
However, the OL said that currently the risk of mass tourism is very low. He said that whatever the government does including opening up the entry points, will have to come with rules and regulations which should be submitted in Parliament.
The OL said that the Opposition insisted that local guides and local vehicles should be allowed only and not foreign vehicles. He said that a fee can also be imposed to control the numbers.
The OL said that he would also support the same conditions for entry via Phuentsholing gates which sees the maximum entry of regional tourists.
Panbang MP Dorji Wangdi said that regional tourists are all not the same there also wealthy ones.
In terms of opening the air links the MP said that currently to access Zhemgang one had to go via Paro airport. He said the opening of direct flights would also encourage international tourists to travel to the other destinations directly.
The MP giving the example of Manas said that there are around nine resorts on the Indian side but the tourists cannot cross into the Bhutanese side due to the closed entry.
Meanwhile DPT also raised the issue of balanced regional tourism in the east, south and central regions. The party explained that the motion to open up entry points was made since there was no equitable development in the tourism sector.
DPT pointed out that waiving off USD 65 had not worked and that hotels were drying up in the east and south and they cannot even pay loans.
They said that road infrastructure was a never ending process.
The party said that it is happy that the government acknowledged this and that the party would keep following up on the issue of balanced regional tourism or balanced regional development.