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Press Release: "Seminar on sharing experiences on Sustainable Tourism Practices of Kingdom of Bhutan and Northeast, India"

 “Seminar on sharing experiences on Sustainable Tourism Practices of Kingdom of Bhutan and Northeast, India”

Date:               24th January 2020

Venue:           Taj Tashi, Thimphu

Time:              14:00hrs – 17:00hrs 

 

The Tourism Council of Bhutan hosted a seminar in collaboration with the Asian onfluence to share experiences of best practices in tourism of the Kingdom of Bhutan and Northeast, India. The tourism in the Kingdom of Bhutan is guided by ‘High value, Low volume’ tourism policy principle since its inception in 1974. This has allowed Bhutan to protect and preserve it rich biodiversity and unique culture and tradition, ensuring that there is very minimal negative ecological and cutural footprints. Tourism has also provided economic opportunities to the people and allowed our visitors to have enriching experiences in Bhutan.

Over several decades, Bhutan has controlled tourism by insisting that any foreign tourist visiting that country must pay a minimum of USD 250 per day which includes hotel, food, transportation as well as a Sustainable Development Fee of USD 65 per day. This fee assists the Royal Government of Bhutan in its pollution control efforts. However, such charges were not levied on tourists from India, given the special and unique relationship between our two countries. With the increase in number of tourists from India over the last decade, the Royal Government of Bhutan intends to pursue a new policy for Indian tourists from 2020 as Bhutan has limited absorptive capacity due to inadequate infrastructure and fragile ecosystems. According to Mr. Dorji Dhradhul, Director General, Tourism Council of Bhutan, the new policy will entail "levying of a Sustainable Development Fee on every Indian tourists,  which will be much lower than USD 65 per day."

Presenting on "Promoting cross-learning and collaborations in the tourism sector", Mr. Sayandeep Chattopadhyay, Senior Research Associate, Asian Confluence harped on learning opportiunities from Bhutan on sustainable tourism practices and adapting it in the context of Northeast India and its neighbourhood. According to him, it is really essential to create awareness and promote understanding on Bhutan's tourism policies in order to facilitate and undertake capacity building initiatives for officials, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders on sustainable tourism standards, destination management, footfall management, waste management etc.  

 

The participants include researchers, eminient media journalists and tourism professionals from East and Northeast India and Bhutan.