The farmers from the gewog in Paro near the Taktsang Monastery are busy cashing in on the tourism business. The villagers provide riding and pack horses service for tourists, while others sell handicrafts along the footpaths.
The farmers of Tsento Shari village located below Taktsang Monastery make a good income from renting horses to tourists and for carrying luggage to Taktsang Monastery from the road point. Each horse fetches Nu 600 per trip.
Tshering Phuntsho, 37, a farmer from Tsento Shari village in Paro has been in the pony business for 10 months. He owns six horses. He said tour operators call him for his pony service when there are tourists visiting the monastery. He said that the six horses are engaged for atleast six days in a week during the tourist season.
He sets off to work at 6 am and is done by 5 pm. He makes about Nu 20, 000 to Nu 30, 000 in a month during the tourist season. He said the cash comes in handy for covering the school expenses his children.
He added that tourists visiting the Taktsang Monastery are benefiting the nearby villages to earn some cash income as well. Tshering Phuntsho made a good income with his six horses that were engaged daily for two months during the discount scheme for Thai tourists visiting Bhutan.
He said such discount scheme is a good idea as more tourists will visit Bhutan.