Fa­mil­iar­iza­tion trip for tour op­er­a­tors and guides at Lam­pelri Park

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The Na­ture Recre­ation and Eco­tourism Di­vi­sion (NRED) un­der the Depart­ment of Forests and Park Ser­vices or­ga­nized a fa­mil­iar­iza­tion trip to The Royal Botan­i­cal Park in Lam­pelri for tour op­er­a­tors and guides. The visit aimed to cre­ate aware­ness of the fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices avail­able at the park. With this trip, it is ex­pected that the tour op­er­a­tors and guides will now in­clude vis­its to The Royal Botanic Park in their itin­er­ar­ies last Sun­day.

Mrs Pat Dar­ling­ton, an Aus­tralian Vol­un­teer for En­vi­ron­ment Ed­u­ca­tion, fa­cil­i­tated the guide tour to Serichu track, rhodo­den­dron gar­den, bam­boo grove, orchid house, yak camp, Bar­it­sho Lake and the camp site. The guided trip in­cluded bird watch­ing and an in­tro­duc­tion to a beau­ti­ful broad-leaved for­est of rhodo­den­dron, oak, breech and other plants present at the park to help tour guides learn about Bhutan’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and con­ser­va­tion as well as in­spire support for the preser­va­tion of our coun­try’s rich eco­log­i­cal and cul­tural her­itage.

The Royal Botan­i­cal Park at Lam­pelri was es­tab­lished in 2008. The park cov­ers around 47 square kilo­me­ters and aims to en­hance con­ser­va­tion and to pro­vide vis­i­tors with recre­ational and ed­u­ca­tional ser­vices. The park has a net­work of ex­cit­ing na­ture trails, a vis­i­tor in­for­ma­tion cen­tre, pic­nic ar­eas, camp­ing ar­eas, a café of­fer­ing group cater­ing, an en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre and Bar­it­sho Lake. The park is popular with both lo­cals and for­eign­ers and is a great place to showcase Bhutan’s forests and rhodo­den­drons.

Mrs. Pat Dar­ling­ton, while talk­ing to the par­tic­i­pants, high­lighted that Lam­pelri has a tran­si­tion of plant species and also said that the park con­sisted of key in­di­cat­ing species which was fur­ther high­lighted dur­ing the guided walk by the foresters. Fur­ther Kezang Dema, of NRED, men­tioned the trip as a “pre­lim­i­nary fo­rum to get in­spired to such fields.”

A doc­u­men­tary film was also shown about the Park and its rich bio­di­ver­sity and also the fa­cil­i­ties avail­able for the vis­i­tors. The par­tic­i­pants shared that they are now con­fi­dent to bring their guest to the Park. The day ended with a dis­cus­sion on what the Park can do or of­fer for the vis­i­tors. The par­tic­i­pants sug­gested a web­site with all the in­for­ma­tion about the Park in­clud­ing the con­tact num­bers of the Park and the cafe­te­ria to make it more ac­ces­si­ble.

Tak­ing ad­van­tage of the gath­er­ing of all the rel­e­vant agen­cies, is­sues on waste man­age­ment in the trekking routes inside pro­tected ar­eas were also dis­cussed. Fi­nally NRED took the priv­i­lege to thank the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bhutan Tour Op­er­a­tors, the Guide As­so­ci­a­tion of Bhutan and Café Garuda for their support as this in­sured the suc­cess of the day and will re­sult in a closer work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween NRED and th­ese or­ga­ni­za­tions.

A to­tal of 50 tour op­er­a­tors and tour guides vis­ited the park.

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