The Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Bangkok organized a Bhutan Tourism Promotion Event on 23 September 2022 in Bangkok following the official reopening of tourism in Bhutan. The event was attended by over 100 people working in Thailand tourism industry, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and airlines.
While opening the event, Ambassador Kinzang Dorji said that tourism has been and will continue to be an important economic sector for Bhutan. The ambassador also commented that the break caused by the COVID -19 pandemic has given time to examine the way we implement our tourism policy of “High Value, Low Volume” and find ways to revamp the sector in the best possible way. The ambassador said that Bhutan has been recognized as a ‘global hotspot, carbon negative country, pristine environment with over 70 percent forest cover, rich cultural heritage, unique national identity, beautiful snow-capped mountains, clear blue skies, clean rivers, beautiful lakes, governance based on Gross National Happiness (GNH) and regarded as number one travel destination for 2020 by the Lonely Planet. Yet, there are also undeniable issues and challenges such as; congestion and over consumption, undue pressure on our resources and ecological systems impacting severely on our sustainability which is at the forefront of all our developmental agenda. Therefore, the reforms we are taking today are conscious and deliberate considerations for Bhutan’s future and its future generations.
The Ambassador announced that the new tourism strategy will provide greater flexibility in planning and choice of services for visitors in place of packaged tour under earlier system of Minimum Daily Package Rate (MDPR). This system in place will also enable visitors to engage with their service providers directly and pay for their services accordingly providing new opportunities for service providers to offer innovative new products and programmes. Overall, this will enhance the travel experience of visitors and the service standards of the industry.
The Ambassador also unveiled the new Brand Bhutan which was inaugurated formally by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Lyonchhen Dasho Dr. Lotay Tshering in Thimphu on 22nd September 2022. While unveiling the new brand Bhutan – Believe, Ambassador announced that the New Brand Bhutan is not just about NATION BRANDING, but it is more about the “NATION BUILDING.” The Ambassador highlighted that tourism is a strategic asset of the nation for preserving and enhancing our social, cultural, environmental, economic dimensions, and protecting our cultural and natural assets.
The Ambassador said that Bhutan is looking forward to welcoming visitors from Thailand since Thailand is an important source market for Bhutan’s tourism industry and has been playing a pivotal role in the inbound tourism of Bhutan.
A Q&A session was also included in the program where the attendees took the opportunity to seek further clarifications about the changes.
23 September 2022