By the end of next three years, gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to in­crease tourist visit to east by 20 per­cent.

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

As the gov­ern­ment had pledges to set a tar­get for tourist ar­rivals to 20 per­cent in the east with con­sid­er­a­tion of the do­mes­tic air ser­vices and widen­ing of the east-west high­way. The tourist visit till now is only about 4 per­cent to the east but by the end of next three years, gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to tourist visit to east by 20 per­cent.

Dur­ing the 15th meet the press ses­sion last Fri­day, Ly­onch­hen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay said that the num­ber of the tourist vis­it­ing east and south is very low with just about 4 per­cent, and as such the gov­ern­ment has com­mit- ted to in­crease the tourist ar­rival through­out the coun­try.

Ly­onch­hen said that gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted to take at least 20 per­cent of the tourists vis­it­ing to the east and is com­mit­ted to stand by the com­mit­ment. As of now, barely 4 per­cent of tourists vis­it­ing in the east and by the end of three years from now, we ex­pect to in­crease the num­ber of tourists vis­it­ing the east by till 20 per­cent. We have lot of work to do.

To in­crease the num­ber of tourist vis­it­ing in the east, Ly­onch­hen said that many things have to be done, for in­stance; ho­tels, tourist prod­ucts, tracks, and many oth­ers but most im­por­tantly we have to en­sure to have proper com­mu­ni­ca­tion like roads.

Since with the on­go­ing widen­ing of east west high­way, Ly­onch­hen added that, the widen­ing of the roads is go­ing to ham­per but we have to do to al­low the tourist to en­joy the road, we want them not just to go to the east to see the east but also to drive on the beau­ti­ful road.

Be­sides that to at­tract more num­ber of tourists, Ly­onch­hen said that for do­mes­tic air­lines, gov­ern­ment is look­ing very se­ri­ously and sched­uled of air­plane fly­ing to Bumthang but for the Yon­phula air­port, it is very in­ad­e­quate we have to rebuild and ren­o­vate the whole air­port and it is go­ing to take some­times. When we start he­li­copter ser­vices that are go­ing to help, we ex­pect many more tourists.

Our tar­get is to in­crease tourist’s ar­rivals through­out the coun­try not just in west, south, east or cen­tral. In terms of tourism, Ly­onch­hen said that they are also pro­mot­ing do­mes­tic tourism fo­cus­ing on the spir­i­tu­al­ity, cul­ture, well­be­ing, adventure, raft­ing, trekking, and bik­ing. We have lot of po­ten­tial that has not yet tapped, said Ly­onch­hen.

Ly­onch­hen fur­ther said that by the end of the three years, the gov­ern- ment aims to in­crease the tourist ar­rivals to the east from barely 4 per­cent to 20 per­cent.

Ly­onch­hen also high­lighted on the start­ing of ser­vices of the two he­li­copters, where on the first pri­or­ity look for the pri­vate en­tity to pro­cure he­li­copters, or ei­ther through For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment or ul­ti­mate op­tion to buy by the gov­ern­ment and start the ser­vices.

Ly­onch­hen also added that the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the 11 trekking routes is un­der process spear­headed by the Tourism Coun­cil of Bhutan in con­sul­ta­tion with the Dzongkhag author­ity as one of the fac­tors in pro­mot­ing the tourism.

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